An Edinburgh horticulture student will walk more than 150 miles along the Great Wall of China to raise money for struggling gardeners.
Becky Cross, who is studying Horticulture with Plantsmanship at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), is hoping to raise £3000 for Perennial – a charity which supports people working in horticulture.
The challenge will see Becky, 25, climb more than 10,000 steps over five days as she follows a winding path across the Yan Mountains to the Gubeikou Gateway, taking in the famous ‘heavenly staircase’.
“I will be walking for five days, between four to seven hours a day, covering approximately 30 miles, come rain or shine,” she said. “This challenge will be very demanding but also rewarding. It is an unforgettable chance to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World.”
To prepare for the challenge, she has been walking 15 miles a week and doing weekend runs around Holyrood Park.
Becky, who was home-educated in Devon and grew up with nature as her classroom, has spent ten years training and working in the horticultural industry, including three years as a Professional Gardeners’ Guild trainee.
She decided to enrol in the SRUC course, which is delivered in partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, to pursue her ambition of working in botanical gardens.
She said: ‘My main interests are practical conservation of plant species, science and education. Being able to further my knowledge somewhere which is internationally renowned for this is incredibly exciting.
‘The resources at both RBGE and SRUC are fantastic, allowing me to develop my career in the direction I desire and ultimately being a continuation of my lifelong passion: plants.’
While Rebecca has never received support from Perennial, she has known several people who have.
“Horticulture is a profession where you are dependent upon good physical health and any injury or illness can have a devastating effect on your career,” she said. “Perennial is a true lifeline for anyone who works in the horticulture industry, and their families.”
For more information about studying Horticulture with Plantsmanship at SRUC, visit the website.
To support Rebecca’s funding walk visit her JustGiving page.