This April, four ex-Army friends, Will Davies, Freddy Paske, Richard Chambers and Will Tod will complete three marathons in three days along three of Scotland’s iconic salmon rivers – the Oykel, Spey and Tweed. Will will complete the fourth on day 4 of the challenge, the Thames marathon (also known as the Virgin London marathon) all in aid of the Atlantic Salmon Trust (AST).
Whilst we perhaps might not be as sprightly as our army days, we wanted to do something to support the vital work being done by the Atlantic Salmon Trust, to understand why salmon numbers are falling so precipitously, and to reverse a decline which will bring endangered status if left unchecked. Every hour by the river is a privilege – whether we still have the same view after over 100 miles in four days remains to be seen.
Asked to envisage a salmon in its natural habitat, many will conjure images similar to the picture above, the epitome of health and fitness, surging from the sea, up sparkling rivers to spawn in pristine headwaters and renew the lifecycle of a fish which captures the imagination like no other. But all is not well beneath the waves. 2018 has been the worst year in history for Atlantic salmon returning to UK rivers to spawn, and if this trend continues, wild Atlantic salmon will become endangered in our lifetime. 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon, with the AST spearheading UK efforts to understand why so few of our salmon are completing the journey from sea going smolt to returning salmon. The Missing Salmon Project is an AST project launching this year, which proposes to identify the key areas of salmon mortality, prioritise these areas and then create and implement plans to influence policy and develop restorative measures to reduce the decline. A tracking programme for smolts in the Moray Firth is already live and there are more plans in the pipeline.
Please help us raise as much as possible for this wonderful work, in aid of a species far too precious to take for granted.
You can make a donation by following this link.