Update posted by David Fergusson On Jul 14, 2014

i completed the Pennine Way yesterday! Got my name in the book and my free Wainright pint and a certificate. I'M In Newcastle now and train back tomorrow. It was a wonderful and unforgettable experience and new friends made. Fantastic weather and beautiful views. high points would be Malham, High Cup and Hadrian's Wall. Also seeing Yorkshire decked out for Le Tour.


Now it is over there is just the question of sponsorship. Thanks to everyone who has donated and if you still want to but never got around to it, you still have until the end of the month. Sorry I haven't thanked everyone personally.


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Update posted by David Fergusson On Jun 20, 2014

Our Penge Green Gym Open Day went well last weekend and hopefully lots of people discovered the great work we are doing. I've changed the video link to one that shows our new Bog Garden. This is exactly the kind of project we could complete if we had more money. So, please do donate.

I'll be leaving home next Tuesday to begin walking on Wednesday. I can't thank you personally, so I'm saying thanks for all your support now. I probably won't have time to deal with anything other than walking, but I will try to take some photos and to post them to my Twitter account @fergussonfamily

See you next month



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Update posted by David Fergusson On Jun 08, 2014


Thanks to everyone who has already supported me and to some very generous donations. I've tried to thank everyone personally, but I don't have email addresses for everyone - people like Claire H (who I'm afraid I don't remember and who isn't on the Penge Green Gym Newletter mailing list) but who remembers her time fondly. While I'm away I won't be able to thank you, so I'm thanking everyone in advance now. (Contact the Penge Green Gym through their website if you want to receive that Newsletter.)

You can be sure that everyone at the Penge Green Gym appreciates your donations and that it is going to a good cause.  Our Ecotherapy continues to help many, many people with their physical and mental well-being by being active outdoors doing gardening and conservation work. In addition, we have turned Winsford Gardens from a neglected wasted space into a vibrant area in which local people want to spend their time in. And while it can never be a Nature Reserve, we have made significant improvements for wildlife. We are not doing things that Bromley Council should be doing themselves, instead we are doing things there that no council every did in any public park.

Not very long to go before my Pennine Way walk now. I've finished walking the London Outer Orbital Loop and I've really got to know London much better over the last few months on my criss-cross treks. There are some excellent parks and greenspaces out there that people should go out and enjoy. I'm still concerned about getting blisters but I have been having lots of boring conversations regarding talcum powder, socks and compede. I'm confident of walking 15 miles a day, but the 20 mile walks and climbs will be a hard slog, so I'm trying to work on my general fitness level more now. If you don't know me, I was quite unfit and overweight. I have lost a fair amount of abdominal fat in the last few months but it hasn't all gone yet.

Penge Green Gym have there annual Open Day next Saturday 14th June as part of the London Open Garden Squares Weekend. If you come along to Winsford Gardens SE20 7XJ you can see what we do, what we have done, and our future plans. We hope to be planting up our new Bog Garden on the day and you can meet some of the Volunteers including myself.

Be Seeing You


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Update posted by David Fergusson On May 03, 2014

How is the training going?

Much as I expected. On target I think. I will make it! I have parked my North Downs Way walking for the moment and stopped at Rochester. I don't wish to spend all day travelling and Rochester is far enough away. I will return one day and walk the rest of the way to Canterbury or Dover and finish it. I have still walked 70 miles from Farnham to Rochester and another 78 miles on the Capital Ring.

Today I began the London LOOP or the London Outer Orbital Path. If you imagine that the Capital Ring approximately follows the North and South circular roads then the LOOP is the M25! A couple of people have said they would walk with me on this and I said I would tell them when I got to the part where they live. If you live in Penge or Bromley then that time is now!

It begins in Erith on the River Thames and it was good weather today. The sun shone, a welcome change to last week's rain. I wore my shorts for the first time and I didn't need to dry out my boots.

Useful Advice

Thank you for your pieces of advice. The "Keep going North" is very useful and I have purchased a compass so I can be sure. I have already stocked up of various sizes of blister plasters. Also I know they talk funny up there, but I think you have forgotten that I lived in Sheffield. I also speak fluent Geordie and can use that as a lingua franca in Yorkshire. (As opposed to the French cyclists who apparently won't understand being called "Love".)

Hopefully I will escape from Yorkshire just as the cyclist invasion begins. I have also designed my walk so that my last day will also be the day England win the World Cup Final. So a dual celebration for anyone who wants to meet me in Kirk Yetholm.


I'm also very happy to see that the fundraising is on track too. £330 raised is still only 16% of my target though. I really appreciate the kind and generous donations already made. However a couple of people who I consider to be my oldest and best friends have still not donated. You know who you are! Are you waiting until I actually finish first? Or don't you have the confidence in my that the others clearly do? My old work colleagues are missing too. I don't like asking for money, but I am only going to do this once and never again. So, as Bob Geldof famously never actually said at Live Aid, "It's all about the music!" No, the other quote, "Just give us the ****ing money!"


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Update posted by David Fergusson On Apr 22, 2014

My training is going well. I walked from Box Hill to Caterham on the North Downs today. If you include going to the railway station and back I probably did 17 miles, but it was seriously uphill and downhill today so much more like what I can expect in the Pennines than my walks within London.

Anyway I thought I would share with you some advice, observations and truths:

  1. The rail service in London during the week is outstanding, but at the weekend it is a shambles.
  2. There is no place in the South East where you cannot hear the distant background noise of road traffic.
  3. Check your map/guidebook frequently unless you want to walk a few extra miles.
  4. Signposts don't always point in the correct direction. They are more for show and to give you a vague idea. But worry if you don't seem them anymore.
  5. The County of Surrey is mainly composed of a series of large inter-connected Golf Courses.
  6. No one needs Toenails, anymore than we need an Appendix.
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Update posted by David Fergusson On Apr 20, 2014

Great news that due to 11 generous backers £265 has been raised so far. There is still over two months left. Let's try and reach my £2000 target.

Penge Green Gym is a Community Group of local volunteers who give their time completely for free. It is not directly funded by anyone so any money we spend has to be raised by us. Bromley Council pays for our Public Liability Insurance and will replace some lost or broken tools, but all our other expenses need to be covered somehow. TCV have given us a grant towards First Aid training for the project leaders and for some tools this year but that won't continue into the future now that we are independent.

We were able to raise money from the Waitrose Community Matters scheme last year and some of our projects have been funded. We managed to get some recycled tools last year. We have just heard that we have been given a grant from the Mayor's Team London Capital Clean-Up which will enable us to build our Bog Garden.

So you can be sure that every penny you donate will be spent in Winsford Gardens. £3 would buy a trowel. £5 would buy secateurs or wildflower seeds. £20 would buy a spade or shovel or a rose for the rosegarden. With more we could buy wood and topsoil for more raised beds.

Bromley Council still mow the grass and cut the trees, and some people think we are only doing work that the Council once did. They are wrong. We are achieving things that no council ever did in a public park before: creating wildlife havens, natural seating and children's adventure playgrounds.

However,  we face an uphill struggle. In the last few weeks the greenhouse has been damaged and the lawn mower stolen. £300 would buy a new lawn mower. The interpreation board was covered in graffiti and had to be re-stensiled. The willow dome and willow arch have been destroyed three times and the dead hedge burnt down. We could repair and replace these, but not without additional funding.

We still have the enthusiasm to carry on if there is the support for us to do so.

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Update posted by David Fergusson On Mar 31, 2014

I wanted to tell you a little about the cause that the money will be supporting. The Penge Green Gym are a Community Group in an area of South East London in the UK. They have taken over the management of a local green space called Winsford Gardens and they have three main aims:

The first aim is to improve these once neglected gardens for the good of the local community by adding a ring of natural seating, a childrens playground, and by maintaining the flower beds so they once more show some displays of colour.

The second aim is to improve the environment in the gardens for wildlife by adding some plants that attract natural pollinators, by planting a wildflower meadow, and a hedgerow, and by building a stag beetle loggery and insect hotels.

But thirdly, and unusually amongst environmental projects, the Green Gym concept also aims to improve the health and to benefit the volunteers themselves. Each Green Gym session includes some pulse raising and stretching exercises, followed by a variety of tasks to suit a variety of fitness levels, from gentle weeding to construction projects.

If you can only spare £1 give £1. £3 would buy us a trowel. £5 would buy a pair of secateurs or a packet of wildflower seeds. £20 would buy a billhook or some larger tools. While our target of £2000 would see us able to complete our goal of creating a Bog Garden.

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Update posted by David Fergusson On Mar 29, 2014

With less than 100 days before I start my walk I am well into my training. I just completed the Capital Ring, 78 miles around London yesterday. I've been hillwalking in Cumbria and have done other walks in Tyneside. Next week I'll start walking the North Downs Way. I'm trying to do some kind of walking every day with at least two long walks every week. You can follow my progress here: Tagboard for #DavesWalk

Meanwhile, I don't see nearly enough donations. I know it is early days yet but I am walking 268 miles, crossing 7 counties over 19 nights, climbing over 183 stone stiles and 249 timber styles, through 287 gates and passing 458 waymarks! And I climb Pen-y-ghent and Cross Fell on the way, two of England's highest hills.


best regards


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Apologies it's only a nominal amount - hope you have fun anyway. :)

B Turner

Backed with £10.00 On Jul 16, 2014


Well done David, what next?

Angie & Aidan

Backed with £20.00 On Jul 14, 2014


Well done!!!


Backed with £20.00 On Jul 14, 2014


In the home stretch, Dave. Keep it up!


Backed On Jul 07, 2014 Amount Hidden


We'll done David! Hope the weather stays fine for you. Wish we could come and cheer you on but we'll be on holiday when you're in our neck of the woods. Love Christine, John, Laura and Fiona xx

Christine and John

Backed with £10.00 On Jun 30, 2014


Hi Dave, The Eve of your big walk so I guess you are all packed and ready to go. I know you'll have a great time and enjoy (almost) every minute of it. And I'm looking forward to a report at the end! Go easy on the Old Peculiar. Paul


Backed with £25.00 On Jun 23, 2014



Keith Rodwell

Backed with £67.50 On Jun 22, 2014



Backed On Jun 20, 2014 Amount Hidden


Remember my time at penge fondly - best of luck

Claire H

Backed with £25.00 On Jun 08, 2014


Well done Dave;a worthwhile cause. Try to really enjoy it too!


Backed with £50.00 On Jun 04, 2014

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David Fergusson

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Bethany Edwards

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