19 Jan 2018 A long journey for Australia’s long list of threatened species
We first heard about Tristan and 1900 Footprints a couple of months ago when he set out on his journey from Adelaide to Hobart – on foot. He named this undertaking “1900 Footprints” as he would be covering 1900 kilometres with the aim of raising awareness about Australia’s approximately 1900 threatened plants and animals. Further to this, Tristan was hoping to encourage Australians to reconnect with the natural world around us.
After setting off at an eager and cracking pace Tristan sustained some injuries, took some time off, and skipped the South East of South Australia in order to keep to his intended schedule of stops later along the route. That’s how it came to be that after completing most of the South Australian, Victorian, and Tasmanian legs of the journey Tristan found himself back in our region to catch up the section he initially missed.
We were thrilled to finally meet and host Tristan when he finally arrived in Mount Gambier on the 10th of January. Tristan shares as a similar outlook on conservation as we do; both NGT and Tristan believe in the importance of involving people and community in conservation (you can read Tristan’s words on this here). Apart from the obvious environmental gains, the physical and mental health benefits to humans from spending more time outdoors are becoming more and more well known – lower heart rate, lower blood pressure, lower levels of stress hormones, and improved immune system are just some of the scientifically proven outcomes.
Along the way Tristan reached his fundraising goal of $15000 which will benefit two organisations: BioR which will use the funds to restore and maintain a species-rich conservation reserve near Monato; and Wollangarra, an outdoor environmental education organisation in the Victorian mountains.
After leaving Mount Gambier, Tristan continued on to Heywood just over the Victorian border to complete his walk on Sunday 14 January. He spent 70-something days on the road and covered a total of 1913 kilometres. An impressive undertaking by any measure!
It was a pleasure to meet you Tristan, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavours!