A young environmentalist from Angus is set to take on his biggest fundraising challenge yet in memory of his mum.
Nine-year-old Charlie Watts, from Auchterhouse, is currently in training to walk 55 miles from Broughty Ferry to the Queensferry Crossing over two days later this summer.
He will walk the first half of his double marathon distance on June 21 and the second on August 25, which would have been his late mum Eileen’s 54th birthday. She died seven years ago from cancer.
Charlie will be raising funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
Last year Charlie walked 30 miles, with his father Adam, from Carnoustie to St Andrews, raising £2,200 for the Marine Conservation Society. His efforts gained him a letter of congratulations from David Attenborough.
Two years ago he walked for 10 hours back and forwards over the Tay Road Bridge in aid of Roxburghe House, whose staff looked after his mum.
Charlie’s dad Adam said: “Charlie wants to do a walk every year on the anniversary of his mum’s death.
“Charlie decided he wanted to raise money for the RNLI when we passed and spoke about the Lifeboat Station at Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
“I explained as best as I could how the RNLI functions and that it’s reliant on donations and fundraising to survive.
“Immediately he asked if he could raise money for them in this year’s walk.”
Adam added: “He has decided he wants to walk from the Lifeboat Station at Broughty Ferry
to the Lifeboat Station at Queensferry, close to Edinburgh. A distance of approximately 55 miles.
“In addition, 2019 saw the 60th anniversary of the loss of Broughty Ferry’s lifeboat, the RNLB Mona.
“When we spoke to Charlie’s headteacher about the walk, she explained that her grandfather, David Anderson, was one of the men who drowned. Her father at the time was nine. The age Charlie is now and will be when he walks.
“This year’s walk will also be in memory of the crew who didn’t return to their families: Ronald Grant, George Smith, Alexander Gall, John Grieve, George Watson, James Ferrier, John T. Grieve and David Anderson.”
On December 8 1959 the Mona was called to the North Carr Lightship, which, in severe gales, was drifting in the North Sea.
Tragically, the Mona capsized before reaching the North Carr, with the loss of all hands.
The North Carr, and her crew survived the gale and she can be seen in Victoria Dock, Dundee.
To donate to Charlie’s fundraiser, visit Just Giving and search ‘Charlie Watts walk 2020’.