Big Blind Walk

Authored by Sarah Bell

Awareness of visual impairment is set to receive a big boost this spring, as one man bids to traverse the length of Great Britain.

Starting on Sunday 29th April 2018, Julian Jackson of VisionBridge is embarking on a “Big Blind Walk”, hiking over 1000 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, to John O’Groats in Scotland.

Through this epic seven-week adventure, Julian aims to raise awareness of eye health, eye research, and the rich, varied and multi-sensory ways in which people can connect to nature to experience a sense of wellbeing, whether fully sighted or otherwise. 

In 2010, Julian took on the challenge of tandem cycling this well-known route. This time, he will be negotiating the varied terrains on foot, exploring the shifting environments and listening out for different wildlife as he travels. 

Julian is inviting everyone - from members of the public, to patient support groups and health care professionals - to raise money for eye research and join him, be it as guides or fellow walkers. He will be visiting eye clinics, eye hospitals and community centres along the way, sharing experiences and promoting the achievements of, and future opportunities for, eye health research.

If you would like to accompany Julian, fundraise or raise awareness of this adventure, visit the Big Blind Walk website and take a look at the route. You can also hear more via a recent interview with Julian on BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Touch’ programme. 

Opportunities to connect to nature with our non-visual senses are emerging as particularly important within the Sensing Nature study, and we’re really excited to be supporting Julian with this fantastic initiative.