Colleagues embark on 12 festive fundraising runs through nature reserves

TWO colleagues are embarking on ‘12 Runs of Christmas’ through some of the North-East’s best beauty spots to raise money for a leading wildlife organisation.

Kate English and Emily Routledge decided to run the 12 routes throughout December in different nature reserves after the Durham Wildlife Trust’s annual fun run was cancelled due to Covid-19.

Both work for the Trust and see first-hand the good it does to preserve wildlife in County Durham. They are aiming to raise £500 for the charity, while also promoting some of the magnificent nature reserves it protects.

Emily, the Trust’s membership development officer, said: “We’re hoping to raise awareness of the different nature reserves cared for by Durham Wildlife Trust and to raise a bit of money to help look after them.

“Covid has stopped us raising money in the normal ways. Combined with the lockdown closures of our visitor centres and charity shops, fundraising for the Trust is more important than ever.

“Doing these runs has been wonderful. We’ve really reconnected with the nature reserves we’re so passionate about, and it has given us the chance to show off what makes them so special.”

Emily and Kate – often accompanied by their beloved dogs Fidra and Bedlam – are just under halfway to their target after completing six runs, having raised £235 so far.

They have already finished runs in Rainton Meadows and Joe’s Pond, near Houghton-le-Spring; Low Barns, near Bishop Auckland; Hesleden Dene; Herrington Hill; Hedleyhope Fell; and the Whinnies, near Middleton St George.

The two also plan to run at Edmondsley Woods, Shibdon Pond, Barlow Burn, and Bishop Middleham Quarry, before finishing with a coastal route from Hawthorn Dene to Blackhall Rocks.

“The plan is to finish that last run when we reach the sea,” added Kate, the Trust’s communications officer. “It will be the longest of the twelve, so it feels like a fitting finale to the challenge.

“We’ll end the challenge with a litter pick to keep the beach looking beautiful.

“Emily and I really want to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has already sponsored us, as well as all the amazing volunteers, members, and business supporters of the Trust.”

Visit to support Emily and Kate.