As summer holidays go, trekking 200 miles with a pony and cart from Suffolk to Surrey isn’t generally on the list of things to do for most children.
But that is just what four children and their mum are currently doing - and it’s all in the name of charity.
Fenella Harley and her children Jethro, 16, Merlin (15), Thaddeus (13), plus three dogs, a piebald pony and the cart departed from Birdbrook on Tuesday, August 2 (they were joined a couple of days later by Fenella’s daughter Keziah, 11) on a two-week odyssey that will end in Eashing, Surrey.
It is there that the Humanimal Trust is based, a charity that aims to establish a cross-pollination of expertise and ideas between veterinary and human medicine for the benefit of all living creatures. It is charity Fenella supports and believes in.
Fenella, a learning support assistant at Bulmer St Andrews Primary School near Sudbury, who lives in Ousden but previously lived in Haverhill and Kedington, has in the past done treks of 700 miles and 120 miles for charity and had initially planned to complete this one alone.
She said: “Don’t ever call me sane because If I’m sane I don’t like to think what insane is.
“I am actually quite normal but I like walking and I was going to do it on my own until the children decided to come with me.
“I was talking to them about it and saying ‘I want to do the walk and do it for charity.’ I told them they could stay at home with their dad for two weeks and they said ‘we are coming’.”
Fenella has already driven the route to check it out and the cart is loaded with three tents and basic camping equipment for their overnight stops en-route. They even have a solar panel for recharging mobile phones.
One of her sons is taking his bike with panniers so he can carry his own things.
Fenella added: “The weather will be there whatever happens. The main worry is drivers going too fast around bends and not expecting us.
“We are avoiding main roads but to be honest it’s the minor roads where people drive like lunatics and don’t expect to see anything, that is what worries me.”
Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Humanimal-Hike.