Bradley Stoke man in team attempting 45-mile charity walk around Bristol

L-r: Jamie Bramhall (Corporate Account Manager, Penny Brohn) with charity walkers Rich Carroll, Chris Wroe and Neil Thompson.

On Saturday 15th October four walkers (‘The White Walkers’) will be attempting to walk the 45-mile Community Forest Path, which encircles the city of Bristol, in under 24 hours. By completing their ambitious challenge, the team hopes raise more than £1,000 for local cancer charity Penny Brohn UK.

Neil Thompson, who lives in Bradley Stoke, will be joined by Chris Wroe, Rich Carroll and Julian Rigby. Neil, Chris and Rich all work for National Friendly in Bristol, while Julian has been selected for his navigational skills.

Known by enthusiasts as the Green Man Challenge, completing the walk in under 24 hours qualifies for the title of woodwose, the proper name for the wild men and wild women who haunted the imaginary forests of medieval Europe – and entirely appropriate for anyone mad enough to conquer the Community Forest Path!

The team will be starting and finishing the route at the Clifton Suspension Bridge, walking anti-clockwise through Dundry, Keynsham, Winterbourne Down, Bradley Stoke and Blaise Castle along the way.

Neil says they intend to set off at 5am to try to make the most of daylight hours, but are prepared for lots of walking under torchlight as they closely follow their map.

He adds: “We have tried parts of the route to try to avoid mistakes on the day and have done 30 mile plus walks before, but I guess nothing really prepares you for the rigours of an all-day walk.”

“We’ll be armed with plenty of food and drink, plus plasters, spare socks etc. to see us through.”

“We may have to take a break because it’s so hard walking cross country, especially when it’s dark and the grass is getting longer, but we are focussed on the 24 hour deadline.”

Neil explains that he chose to take on the challenge of the Community Forest Path because it takes in both Pensford (where he’s from originally) and Bradley Stoke (where he lives now).

“I also think it will be quite something to say I’ve walked right around Bristol. There’s some great scenery along the way and I would urge anyone who can to try at least part of this challenge.”

National Friendly’s staff chose Penny Brohn as their charity of the year from a list of options because of the great local work they do for cancer sufferers and their families at their centre in Pill. Anyone whose family has been touched by cancer will appreciate that it can define someone as a patient, not as a person. Penny Brohn tries to redress this balance. Go to to see how.

Neil concludes: “Between us we hope to raise £1,225 for the charity. If you would like to donate, please go to

“Your donation really will make a difference.”

Photo (l-r): Jamie Bramhall (Corporate account manager, Penny Brohn) with charity walkers Rich Carroll, Chris Wroe and Neil Thompson.

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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