TV anthropologist and broadcaster Mary-Ann Ochota joined walkers at the Chatham Green Project in Chelmsford to “Walk a Country Mile” in aid of The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
Hosted by The Wilderness Foundation, the event was held for National Countryside Week which was launched by the Fund to raise awareness of the importance of the countryside to the UK.
Helen Aldis, Manager at The Prince’s Countryside Fund, explained; “We are delighted to have the support of The Wilderness Foundation in hosting this Walk a Country Mile event in Essex, and were pleased to welcome Mary-Ann and local residents in taking a short walk.
“Not only is walking enjoyable, it makes us mindful of the importance of the countryside, and give us pause to consider how we support those who work to conserve it.
“Walking is as close to free as it gets. You don't need fancy shoes, or clothes, or equipment. The simple act of taking a walk connects us to landscapes, nature, communities and helps us to reflect and appreciate the importance of the countryside.”
The Chatham Green Project is a conservation and education initiative on 400 acres of farmland. Focused on sustainable land use, the project investigates how to utilise land more effectively to better balance the 21st century needs of farming, nature and communities.
Through the initiative, The Wilderness Foundation operates an environmental monitoring programme to record the changes in the land over time and aims to educate over 3,000 school aged pupils each year.
Mary-Ann, who’s co-hosted Channel Four’s Time Team, said: "National Countryside Week is a great opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the incredible countryside we have around us.
“The British countryside is so varied, it's beautiful, economically important, and is home to diverse communities of people who work hard to keep it that way.”