Countrystride

Countrystride #69: Blencathra with Andy Airey

November 26, 2021
...in which we summit one of Lakeland's finest heights via the rocky arête of Halls Fell Ridge with Threlkeld born-and-bred Andy Airey. After grappling with local pronunciations, we hear about the outdoor freedoms of a Lakeland childhood; we learn that Father Christmas lives on Great Mell Fell; and we explore the merits of each route onto Saddleback. Approaching the summit on a picture-perfect autumn evening, conversation turns to Andy's daughter Sophie, who took her life in December 2018. In a frank discussion about suicide, about the need to talk with young people and about healing though walking, we move on to consider the '3 Dads Walking' campaign, in which Andy and two other suicide-bereaved fathers walked 324 miles in memory of their daughters – and captured the attention of millions around the world.

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