A CREWKERNE filmmaker and photographer has started her latest project and is hoping to raise awareness of the beauty of the countryside at the same time.
Abbie Barnes, 19, will be walking all of the UK’s designated National Trails while producing a documentary film for each of the journeys.
The challenge consists of 15 routes and more than 2,500 miles, which Abbie is aiming to have completed by the time she heads off to university in September.
Abbie is a semi-professional filmmaker, presenter and photographer, as well the owner of company Song Thrush Productions.
Of her latest challenge, Abbie said: “As an avid long-distance backpacker, I am constantly planning my next big adventure. In September 2016 I will begin university.
"Between now and then I have set myself the goal of walking all of the UK’s designated National Trails. My aim is to produce a documentary-style film for each of the trails, in hope that I can install a curiosity in my viewers to witness such landscapes for themselves.
“Having twice walked across the country, and explored some of the highest, most remote regions in the UK, I have become eager to share the hidden beauty of our countryside and wilderness areas.”
National Trails are long distance walking, cycling and horse riding routes through the best landscapes in England and Wales. The England Coast Path will be the newest (and longest) National Trail when it is complete in 2020. The first section few sections are now open and more will be opening over the next few months.
“Give me a backpack and the open trail, and I am happy – that’s a fact,” Abbie added.
Abbie added: “I will be inviting my audience to join me on a personal journey, observing my struggles and raw emotions as I travel self-sufficient through the English countryside, meeting local residents and other walkers along the way.”
Abbie has already become known for her environmental work. She won an International Action for Nature Eco Hero Award 2013, and the EcoTales Film Festival 2013 for her film Save Our Oceans, for which she was presented the prize by Sir David Attenborough.
And in 2014, she completed one of her biggest projects to date, the summiting of Mt. Kilimanjaro whilst producing the film Climb for Climate Action, which was screened at the Paris Climate Meetings last year.
The National Trails Challenge has already secured sponsorship from The Next Challenge grant, organised by adventurer Tim Moss, and from Trailblazer Travel Guides, Water-To-Go, and Dorset Flapjacks.
The 15 National Trails are: Cleveland Way (110 miles), Cotswold Way (100 miles), England Coastal Path (2795 miles) - Opens in 2020, Glyndwr’s Way (135 miles), Hadrian’s Wall Path (84 miles) ~ Completed July 2014, North Downs Way (153 miles), Offa’s Dyke Path (177 miles), Peddars Way/Norfolk Coast Path (93 miles), Pembrokeshire Coast Path (186 miles), Pennine Bridleway (205 miles), Pennine Way (268 miles), South Downs Way (100 miles), South West Coast Path (630 miles) ~ Completed April 2013, Thames Path (184 miles), The Ridgeway (87 miles)