Gabriel walks

Heading off: Gabriel Stewart embarks on his journey. Photograph: Gabriel Stewart

A Hackney teenager is taking steps to fight climate change by walking a gruelling 1,000 miles to raise money for an environmental charity.

Gabriel Stewart, 18, took to the road this week on the first of a string of ‘journeys’, each lasting between one and four days and covering 1,000 miles in total.

His first journey takes him from London to Brighton as he plans to walk all across the UK over the next 13 weeks, including to Norwich, Folkestone and the Isle of Wight.

The former Stoke Newington School student has been passionate about fighting climate change since his youth and will donate the money raised to Renewable World, a charity that gives marginalised communities access to renewable energy.

“I really admire all of the work Renewable World do and I think that renewable energy is the way we should go about saving the environment,” he said.

So far Gabriel’s friends, relatives, and generous strangers have donated £700 to his fundraising campaign.

He will be camping along the way, paying for campsites with money saved from working over recent months. Most of his journeys will be a solo mission, but friends and family will be joining him for some parts of the adventure.

Gabriel realises that travelling around the UK is a somewhat unusual choice for a gap year adventure. “All my friends are off flying all over the world,” he said. “But I wanted to explore parts of the UK first. There are so many different areas that you rarely get to see or just take for granted.

“I was on a train journey looking at beautiful scenes of the countryside and decided I just wanted to get out there.”

He has flown before but vows he will not fly again.

Gabriel has built up an impressive body of nature photography, and said he’ll be documenting his adventures via video on his blog.

He expects it will take him around 13 weeks in total. “But that’s not a definite number”, he warned. “There’s a good chance I’ll get lost!”

After completing his final walk, from London to Somerset, the teenager will be heading to Glastonbury with friends to celebrate.

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