Updated: Feb 26, 2021
Our oceans are not just bodies of water to visit on our holidays. They give us food, make and release huge quantities of oxygen for us to breathe and provide the raw materials for clouds and life-giving rain.
Despite this, we continue to pump them full of sewage, fill them with harmful plastic that is already getting into our food and drinking water, and kill too many fish.
The Marine Conservation Society is a small but influential charity that works with all sorts of people to create healthy oceans that support livelihoods as well as wildlife.
Early this year, I committed to walking all 630 miles of the South West Coast Path, dressed as a jellyfish, to raise awareness of the importance of their work and to raise money to support them - Julia's Jellyfish Journey.
As the Coronavirus pandemic will make it very difficult to do this walk safely and lawfully, I have adapted the challenge. On Good Friday, I set out in my jellyfish costume for the first time, to walk the same distance and ascent/descent around the Malvern Hills where I live.
To date, I have walked a distance of 125 miles and ascent of 5 miles - and raised just over £2,500 for the Marine Conservation Society.
So far, I have been blessed with good health, good weather and a beautiful area to walk in. The sights and sounds of plants and animals enjoying the spring have buoyed my spirit. I have heard woodpeckers, wrens and skylarks. For the first time ever, I have seen a green woodpecker completely disappear when it landed on a tree, camouflaged by a mossy bough. Almost every day, a robin perches on the same post and I glimpse a flash of yellow from a flock of greenfinches.
Now that lockdown conditions have been eased, my walking days will lengthen and I'll start to get some serious miles under my belt.
I get up and walk every day, even when I really don't want to, because the sea is important to me and I believe I can make a difference. Please enourage me by following my progress here on my blog, on Facebook or on YouTube - every like, comment or follow helps me along my way.
Things are hard for a lot of people at the moment; I realise that for many, it's not a good time to be asked to make charitable donations. However, if you are in a position to support this amazing cause, please make your donation here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/julias-jellyfish-journey.