A dad is dusting off his bicycle for the first time in 10 years to help his daughter pursue a dream trip to Transylvania.
John and Emma Hatfield, of Slingsby, are gearing up for a punishing 60 mile bike ride up, down and around the North York Moors on Sunday May 4, to help raise money so Emma can learn about the work of a conservation project in the Central Romanian region.
They will take in all the cricket clubs from the Feversham League, in which John used to play a central role as captain of Slingsby, on the one-day tour.
The route – which recently took them two hours in a car and boasts some of the “toughest places to ride in England” – is daunting even to Emma, an experienced cyclist, but more so for her dad, who is the manager of Sundial Farm, Cawton.
Emma, 23, said: “We will have to go round in second gear on most of these hills, they are ridiculously steep. It is definitely going to be a challenge, no matter which way we go around. I’m quite a keen bike rider and my dad suggested he do it with me but he hasn’t ridden a bike in 10 years! Dad’s trying to train a bit but it’s lambing season at the moment. He’s doing 10 miles a day but he should be okay – I hope!”
If Emma hits her fundraising target of £2,000, she will travel to Transylvania in July where she will see at first hand how the Operation Wallacea (Opwall) conservation project helps to protect the fragile biodiversity in the area which includes animals such as bears, wolves, deer, wild boar and many other small mammals, birds and reptiles.
The area currently employs old farming techniques – as used in England 100 years ago – to maintain its biodiversity.
She was moved to go after listening to a talk from an Opwall representative at Askham Bryan College, York, where she is half way through a four year Animal Management degree.
Emma is no stranger to trekking to foreign climes for conservation projects, having twice visited Africa to work with the “Big 5” – lions, African elephants, the Cape buffalo, leopards, and rhinoceros.
To sponsor Emma and John visit www.gofundme.com/88766w