To celebrate the fifth year of the event on 13 May 207, participants brave enough to take on the Tough and Tougher courses will head for ‘Hel’ and back, summiting Helvellyn, high above Grasmere with stunning views all around the Lake District from its peak at 950m – if the weather is kind once more.
There will be a special surprise awaiting walkers on the summit with a live TV stream to wave to loved ones and colleagues as part of a ‘summit selfie’ station, provided by Arquiva long-standing supporters of Walking With The Wounded.
The Tougher route will plunge down the stunning Swirral Edge into Patterdale before looping back round and up St Sunday Crag, a dramatic climb up to Fairfield and then back down to Grasmere over Great Rigg for tea and medals.
The Tough route will take a more direct route back from Helvellyn but still climb the mighty Fairfield after skirting the beautiful Grisedale Tarn.
This year’s Peak route will take teams up Steel Fell as a fantastic first taste of a Lakeland summit. Each team will make a real impact as every team signing up supporting a vulnerable veteran back into independence.
- Tougher route – 29km and 2,000m of ascent including the peaks of Helvellyn, St Sunday Crag, Fairfield and Great Rigg.
- Tough route – 23km, 1,500m of ascent including the peaks of Helvellyn, Fairfield and Great Rigg.
- Peak route – 16km, 600m of ascent including the peak of Steel Fell.
The event has grown every year and now features more than 150 teams of four and is aiming to raise £250,000 in 2017 to support more veterans with mental, physical or social injuries through the charity’s programmes and back into independence and employment.
In terms of fundraising – each team is challenged to work together to raise £1,000 and to try for £2,000, which would directly support a veteran back into work.
To sign up please click here
PRESENTING PARTNERS …
Thank you to the Lowther Estate, Rydal Estate, Lake District National Park Authority and the National Trust for their assistance in enabling us to run this challenge.
In the first on an ongoing series, we offer you a sitrep about resettlement around the world, starting with one of the most popular destinations for ex-pats – Australia!
Down Under has long attracted those Brits looking for a good life in the sun, a nation that – thanks to its strong British history (and indeed a former bias to immigrants from “the old country”) – will feel familiar, and yet comes with career and lifestyle opportunities lacking in a UK gripped by recession, drizzle and the latest series of Britain’s Got Talent.
Australia has long been known as the lucky country, thanks in part to its vast mineral resourses – from iron ore and uranium to gold, silver and zinc – which made many a person’s fortune. Today, the country still has much to offer those willing to work hard and enjoy the benefits. It may be on the other side of the planet, but if you’re looking to put down roots somewhere that’s warm, vibrant and full of potential, then Australia could be the new home you’re looking for.
Here are 50 things you should know about Australia.
- Australia has the 14th largest economy in the world.
- The country is the world’s largest exporter of commodities including coal, sheep, wool, lead, aluminium, refined zinc ores, diamonds and mineral. Other exports include veal, beef, lamb and mutton, sugar, cereals, nickel and iron ore.
- Australia’s main imports are machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machinery, and telecommunications.
- Although the agricultural and mining sectors are small (generating less than 5% of Australian GDP), they contribute approximately 65% of the country’s exports.
- Australia’s main markets are Japan (which buys one fifth of the country’s output), China, South Korea, the US, New Zealand and India. Oh, and the UK, of course.
- Almost two decades of economic expansion have been stopped by the global recession. Though its resource-based economy has been hit hard by a decline in commodity prices, Australia is said to have fared better so far than other nations.
- However, critics say Australia has lived beyond its means for a decade, importing more than it exports – leading to a current budget deficit equalling 6.2% of GDP (compared with UK’s 5.4%).
- Household debt, meantime, has reached 177% of GDP.
- Nevertheless, the Reserve Bank of Australia believes the country is likely to recover from recession in 2010, thanks to improvements in China’s economy, a rise in commodity prices and the absence of a subprime lending legacy.
- Taxation is split between the Commonwealth, the States and Territories, and local councils.
- To settle and work in Australia, you must be less than 45 years old.
- 75% of Australians work in the services sector (including tourism, education and financial services); 21.1% in industry and 3.6% in agriculture.
- You have a better chance of gaining a work visa if you have at least a year’s recent experience in a profession listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL), published by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship: www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/skilled-occupations/occupations-in-demand.htm.
- MODL lists professions under four categories: managers, such as childcare coordinators and engineering managers; professionals, including IT specialists, dentists and registered nurses and midwives; associate professionals, such as chefs and dental technicians; and trades persons, including bakers, joiners, plumbers and welders.
- Unemployment is currently running at 5.7% in Australia, compared with the UK’s 6.8%.
- Some experts are concerned skilled migrants will take jobs from existing local workers, contributing to an extra 300,000 jobless Australians by 2010.
- According to new research by Tourism Australia, one in four Australian employees are not taking their entitled annual leave thanks to workload concerns, lack of cover and difficulties scheduling holidays. Between them, they have accumulated 123 million days leave – or the equivalent of AU$33.3 billion in wages!
- There are numerous employment websites aimed at people looking for work Down Under, but the most official is Australian Jobsearch, which is run by the Australian Government: http://jobsearch.gov.au.
- Many employers will attend the Australia Needs Skills expo in London, 27-29 June 2009. For more information, and to register for an invite, visit http://skillexpo.nga.net.au.
- There are more than 71,400 businesses following business franchise systems, employing around 413,500 people. For more information check out the Franchise Council of Australia (www.franchise.org.au).
GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY
- At 7,686,850km2 (2,967,909 miles2), Australia is the sixth-largest nation in the world – after Russia, Canada, China, the US and Brazil.
- Almost nine in 10 of Australia’s 21,263,000 people live in urban areas; the heaviest settlement is along the eastern seaboard and in the south-east corner of the continent.
- The Commonwealth of Australia is made up of six states and two territories.
- The largest State is Western Australia; roughly the size of Western Europe, it has a population slightly less than the West Midlands!
- The official capital is the purpose-built city of Canberra, although the two largest cities are Sydney and Melbourne.
- Almost three-quarters of Australia cannot support agriculture in any form.
- The largest lake in Australia is Lake Eyre – at 9,500km2, it’s roughly six times the size of Greater London.
- In 1770 Captain James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the British Crown.
- In total, some 160,000 Britons were transported to Australia as convicts between 1788 and 1868.
- Australia currently has nine parliaments; the Commonwealth Parliament in Canbera, six State Parliaments and two Territory Parliaments – all but the State Parliament of Western Australia are currently controlled by the Australian Labor Party.
- Sport is massive in Australia; an estimated 6.5 million people – almost a third of the population – are registered with local, regional or state-level sports organisations and clubs.
- Australians enjoy a relaxed outdoor lifestyle, thanks to plentiful back yards, public parks and open spaces.
- Life expectancy is 81.6 years (79.25 for males, 84.14 for females), compared with 79 years in the UK (76.5 for males, 81.6 for females).
- According to the 2001 Census, 92% of Australians are white; Asians make up 7%, with Aboriginal peoples and other ethnic minorities accounting for the rest.
- The first language of 78.5% of Australians is English; about 5.4% speak Chinese, Italian or Greek.
- Nearly one in four Australians were born overseas (compared with 6% of people in the UK).
- Permanent residence in Australia is granted under various classes of visas within four main “streams”: Skills, Family, Business and Humanitarian.
- The Australian Dollar (AU$) is worth about 50p; bank notes are made out of plastic to make them durable and difficult to counterfeit.
- Australian cities regularly feature in the top ten of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Livability survey.
- Though you will need plug adaptors, the voltage for electrical appliances is the same as in the UK, so you take and use current electrical equipment.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Australia’s name derives from the Latin term “terra australis incognita” – meaning “unknown southern land”.
- Between 1838 and 1902 it was illegal to swim at public beaches during the day.
- Australia was the second country to give women the vote.
- In 1933, two thirds of people in Western Australia voted for independence from the rest of Australia, but it didn’t happen.
- Australia Day (26 January) is the anniversary of the first convict-carrying ships arriving in Sydney.
- In 2007, it was estimated that almost 22% of living Australians (almost one in four) had a convict ancestor.
- Highly venomous Box Jellyfish have killed more people than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
- Baaa! There are 140,000 sheep in Australia.
- Recent years have confirmed Australia’s deadliest natural hazards as hurricanes, droughts, forest fires and heatwaves.
- According to an international survey, the average Australian drinks 7% less alcohol than the average Brit, 25% less than the average German and 35% less than the average Irish person!
In the first of a new series, we give you a sitrep about resettlement in various parts of the UK – starting with ‘North of the Border’!
What does Scotland mean to you? Tartan and whisky? Bagpipes? Ruined castles overlooking glens of purple heather? Postcard-images of wee Highland terriers, smiling Nessie slugs, tins of shortbread, and ranks of diamond-patterned golf jerseys?
That’s the image often promoted by the Scottish tourist industry, but of course there’s much more to 21st century Scotland that just tartan tat; for example, Aberdeen’s still Europe’s Oil Capital, Dundee is a major world player in the multi-million pound computer games industry, and Edinburgh remains a notable political and financial centre – admittedly somewhat cowed after the events of the last year!
So, before you dismiss “Jockland” as a resettlement destination, here are 40 things you need to know about Scotland.
- According to the most recent Lloyds TSB business monitor, fewer Scottish businesses reported a drop in turnover than in the previous quarter, suggesting a possible “relaxation” of the recession north of the border.
- In the year to end September, Scottish GDP rose by +1.4% (below the UK figure of +1.9%); in the third quarter of 2008, however, it fell by -0.8% (more than the UK’s -0.6%).
- In the year to end September 2008, the Scottish service sector grew by +2% (UK: 2.4%); production grew by +0.9% (UK: -0.5%) while construction fell by -3.4% (UK: -0.2%).
- At the close of 2008 there were 282,330 public and private sector “enterprises” (including businesses, not-for-profit agencies and charities) in Scotland, with an overall turnover of £243 billion.
- Excluding the rest of the UK, Scotland’s top export markets are the US, the Netherlands, Germany and France. In recent years there has been significant growth in markets including China, Thailand and Singapore.
- 30% of Scots of working age are managers and executives; 11% are supervisors, 23% are skilled and semi-skilled, 12% are unskilled and 6% are self-employed.
- Scotland remains a strong location for call centres; these employ roughly 40,000 people.
- Tourism supports around 9% of all employment. More than 20 million tourists visit annually, spending almost £5 billion.
- Scotland has 14 universities – many of which are praised for the commercial success arising from their research – and 50-plus further and higher education institutions. More than half of all Scottish school leavers go on to further/higher education or training.
- Scotland is a net exporter of electricity to the rest of the UK, thanks to a combination of coal, oil, gas, hydro and nuclear power generation. The Scottish Government aims to generate 40% of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
- Oil and gas extraction from the North Sea currently supports roughly 40,000 jobs in Aberdeen and Grampian, 70,000 in Scotland and nearly 300,000 across the UK. Numbers are expected to fall slowly in the coming decades.
- Nevertheless, the oil and gas sector is still looking for new recruits as many existing workers are now approaching retirement age, threatening the sector with a significant skills shortage. North Sea main contractors are still involved in long-term maintenance and modifications contracts.
- Scotland is home to roughly one in five of the UK’s biotech companies, employing some 24,000 people.
- Other significant employment sectors: optoelectronics sector (5,000), food and drink industry (55,000), semiconductor manufacturers (5,500), telecommunications (15,000) and electronics (41,600 directly).
- Whisky accounts for 13% of Scotland’s exports, with a value of more than £2 billion a year.
- The mean gross weekly full-time wage in Scotland (2008) was £444.20 (compared with the UK figure of £471.90) – mean wages were highest in Stirling (£544.10), and lowest in Moray (£370.40).
- Major public sector construction projects continue to be planned, including the extension of the M74 motorway near Glasgow and the new road bridge across the Firth of Forth.
- Scotland’s leisure and hospitality sector continues to require people in a wide range of sectors, including distribution, hotels and restaurants.
- About a quarter of Scotland’s landmass is cultivated, mainly cereals including barley, wheat and potatoes (particularly in the East and Scottish Borders), and soft fruits such as strawberries, raspberries and loganberries in Tayside and Angus. Sheep raising dominates the mountainous region in the northwest of Scotland.
- Two of the world’s leading transport operators are based in Scotland: First Group is based in Aberdeen while the Stagecoach HQ is in Perth.
GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY:
- Scotland is a constituent part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the sovereign Parliament of which is in Westminster, London. Since 1999, the majority of government business – apart from the likes of defence, international relations, taxation and broadcasting – have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament sitting in Edinburgh.
- Scotland has its own law and education systems, distinct from those in the rest of the UK.
- There are currently 5,144,200 people living in Scotland, with a population density varying from 3,300 per km2 in parts of Glasgow to 8 per km2 in the Highlands. So, if you don’t like crowds, head north!
- Average life expectancy in Scotland is currently 74.2 years for men and 79.3 years for women, compared with 77 and 82 years in England.
- Although Scotland’s death rate (+1.1%) is still slightly above the birth rate (+1.07%), the population is currently rising slightly thanks to migration from Eastern Europe and the rest of the UK.
- Scotland is roughly 30,000 miles2 in area, and has 2,300 miles of coast. Only 130 of Scotland’s 790 islands are inhabited.
- It’s said that, wherever you are in Scotland, you are never much more than 40 miles from the sea.
- Some 25 million people around the world can claim a Scottish heritage. The Scottish Government’s “Homecoming” campaign during 2009 is designed to attract more of this “Scottish Diaspora” to visit and spend in the “auld country”.
- Less than 2% of Scotland’s population belong to an ethnic minority; half of these were born in the UK, and more than one third have a Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage.
- Approximately 1.3% of the population speaks Gaelic.
- Scotland’s climate tends to be very changeable. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the country has milder winters and cooler, wetter summers than you’d think, given its latitude – with average maximums of 6°C (42.8°F) in winter and 18°C (64.4°F) in summer. The west of Scotland is generally warmer and wetter than the east.
- Two thirds of Scots reported a religious faith, all but 2% of which was Christian. Only 12% of the population are currently members of the “official” Protestant, presbyterian Church of Scotland, although 40% of people claim affinity. Islam is the largest non-Christian religion, although there are also significant Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities in the west.
- The average house price in Scotland is £153,623 (75% of the UK’s £205,372); prices are highest in East Dunbartonshire and Edinburgh, lowest in West Dunbartonshire and Eilean Siar (the Western Isles).
- Scotland offers a host of sport and leisure activities, from football, golf and rugby to mountaineering, skiing and watersports. The Highlands remains a top destination for hunting and shooting pursuits. Scotland’s own Tennis Academy is based at the Gannochy Tennis Centre, University of Stirling – which may help explain the rise of Andy Murray from nearby Dunblane!
- Culicodes impucantus is an unavoidable part of rural life in Scotland; better known as the midge, clouds of these insects love nothing better than biting humans and animals, leaving behind itchy bites. Midges flourish particularly well in areas where there’s a good annual rainfall – so there are plenty in the west of Scotland!
- Scotland is well served by international airports (five in total: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Prestwick and Inverness), motorways and major trunk roads, plus a rail network connecting more than 300 stations across the country and linking with the main east and west coast lines to London.
- Scottish football is dominated by the “Old Firm” of Celtic and Rangers. The rivalry between these two Glasgow teams is legendary.
- Scotland has a strong tradition of live music, ranging from ceilidh bands in local pubs to international acts touring large venues like Glasgow’s SECC. Considering its size, Scotland has produced a large number of internationally popular music acts over the years, including Lulu, Simple Minds, Wet Wet Wet, Annie Lennox and Franz Ferdinand. Scotland’s largest outdoor music festival, T in the Park, is among the most popular in the UK.
- Scotland’s cultural resources include publicly-funded, national ballet and opera companies, national orchestras, museums and galleries. In recent years, a strong tradition of socially aware theatre continued with the international success of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch.
- Authors from and based in Scotland who continue to dominate the best-sellers lists include Ian Rankin, Iain (M) Banks, Alexander McColl Smith, and J K Rowling.