Paddle Pickup; Length of Wales

MONDAY, MAY 28, 2018  – FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

***Fully Booked***

Paddle Pickup was put together by adventurers Bex Band (who runs Love Her Wild) and Erin Bastian (who runs a kayaking company called Evoke). They both wanted to do something about the increase in plastic pollution in the waters so turned to what they know best – adventure.

Bex and Erin set about bringing their 2 organisations to deliver unique expeditions with a conservation focus. In August 2017 they organised the first Paddle Pickup expedition that saw a group of women kayak the full width of Britain from Bristol to London, via the waterways. Along the way, the team was picking up plastic and raising awareness on this important topic.

We never imagined how much of a storm this expedition would create. We picked up a whooping 3240 pieces of plastic!!! And got people so excited about our mission that media, including the BBC and Sky News, picked up our story. Hundreds of people followed our journey and we were stopped for photos and invited into homes for cake….but, most importantly, we managed to convince people to think about their plastic usage.

But our mission is not yet complete.

We’re back for round 2….

Paddle Pickup; Length of Wales

In spring 2018 we will be attempting to kayak the full length of wales, from coast to coast via the River Severn, picking up plastic and raising awareness as we go.

This gruelling 240km journey is not going to be easy. The team will need to kayak long distances while carrying our research and collecting plastic. They will have dozens of locks to negotiate, deal with camping and staying in a different location every night and living under expedition conditions.

The team

Erin Bastian is a super experienced kayaker and will be leading this expedition. You will be provided with top quality kayaking gear and taught all the skills you need to get you through the expedition. Which means previous kayaking experience is not needed!

Also joining you on the expedition is conservation expert Clare Osborn from Incredible Oceans. Clare will be coordinating the daily plastic pickups, organising engagement programs and getting the team involved in the data entry and daily counts.

The team will also have a support team. Firstly Bex Band, who won’t be on the expedition but will be overseeing media and logistics remotely. And also our valuable ‘support guy’ Jonnie who will be tackling the dubious task of disposing of all the plastic pollution we collect.

As for the rest of the team…..that’s where you come in!

We are looking for passionate and positive women to join us on the expedition. Previous kayaking experience is not needed, just a good general fitness baseline and (most importantly) a can-do attitude!

The expedition is split into 3 legs and you can join us for 1, 2 or (if you are feeling really adventurous) the whole way!

A real adventure

There is some uncertainty to this expedition. It has not been paddled before in this way….and that’s how we like to keep it! It makes for a real adventure.

It’s important therefore that you approach the expedition with some flexibility and with a team player attitude. We are going to have some really long, tough days where plans change due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Tackling locks involves a great team effort. And as a team, you will rotate paddling the 2 man canoe (aka: the Dumpste) which is used to carry all the plastic you collect.

A huge aspect of this expedition is raising awareness on the issues surrounding plastic pollution. You will need to get your Marigolds on ready to pick up some plastic bottles (there will be plenty!) and be ready to smile to strangers at the end of the day when a local radio station wants an interview or some passers-by want to know why you are counting rubbish! There are opportunities for you to get involved in other aspects of the expedition and we welcome any ideas to help increase our impact.

But with the tough times also comes a great amount of satisfaction, laughs and brilliant stories to tell, that we can guarantee (just ask the ladies from the last Paddle Pickup about that time they got invited to use a hot tub……).

What is included

  • Professional guiding and instruction
  • Good quality kayaking gear – kayak, paddles, waterproof jacket, buoyancy aid
  • 2 dry bags
  • Support vehicle (this is an important aspect of the expedition as allows us to do the plastic collection)
  • Tents (2 teammates to a tent)
  • Stove and gas
  • Camping accomodation (it will be a mix of wild camping, campsites and halls)

What isn’t included

  • Personal gear (see kit list below)
  • Transport to and from the start location for each leg (lifts from nearby stations can be arranged on request)
  • Food
  • Insurance

Dates and details

Each leg involved 4 nights and 5 days of kayaking.

Leg 1: 28th May – 1st June
Start & finish: Ellsmere boat museum – Gnosall

Leg 2: 4th June – 8th June
Start & finish:  Gnosall – Worcester

Leg 3: 11th – 15th June
Start & finish: Worcester – sharpness

Price per leg: £650

***Fully Booked***

Spaces are limited. Bookings include a non-refundable £200 deposit per person per leg. There are no refunds for cancellations less than a month before the departure of the expedition.

Anyone who joins the team will be invited to a private Facebook group where we can start discussing plans and events and also ask Bex, Erin or Clare any questions you might have. Got any questions now? Feel free to give Bex an email on [email protected].

Kit List

Plate and cutlery (can be borrowed on request)
Shoes (old trainers/sandals)
Shorts/waterproof trousers
Sun hat
Paddling t-shirt/Thermal x1 short sleeve 1x Long
Suncream
Sunglasses
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Mat
Headtorch/ spare batteries
Campsite trousers, t-shirt, Jumper Waterproofs
Toiletries
Washbag
Travel towel
Personal Medication
Small Personal First Aid Kit
Land shoes
Personal extras: camera, book, luxury items