Gearing up for the Charity Ride Wild Cycle Challenge

Living Magazines Ben Marston, Ride Wild Challenge

With just over a week to go, the countdown is on to the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Ride Wild fundraising cycle challenge, which takes place over 29 and 30 June – a mission to visit 30 wild places across Hertfordshire and Middlesex in just 30 hours, travelling by eBike.

Ben Marston of Puddingstone Distillery will be in the saddle of an Estarli eBike, which has been donated by the Berkhamsted-based bike company. Ben, who has a long-standing relationship with the Trust, has been racking up miles in the saddle both on and off road to prepare him for the 70+ mile event, with the thought of those sponsoring him spurring him on.

Ride Wild RouteThe route, which starts at Stockers Lake in the Colne Valley and ends at Ware Priory, takes in 30 amazing wild places, each with its own unique character. As he traverses winding roads, gravel paths, trails and hills, Ben will get to experience wetlands, woodlands, meadowlands, heathlands and a whole host of other habitats.

Plus, he’ll meet representatives from various groups and organisations, who have partnered with the Trust, from community groups, through to nature reserve wardens and volunteers. They will tell him what they’ve been up to and share what he might see or experience at his stops. But it’s not just Ben who will have the benefit of this experience – parts of the ride will be streamed live across the Trust’s social media channels and website so everyone can be a part of it and engage with this incredible journey of discovery.

In addition to sponsorship of the event to raise funds, The Trust is also raffling off the Estarli e20 eBike from the ride, which is worth over £1,200. Six people will also win a bottle of Puddingstone’s Ultrasonic Gin. More details on sponsorship and the purchase of raffle tickets can found on the Trust’s website:

Sarah Croft, Fundraising Officer at Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, said: ‘This new and ambitious challenge has been a long time in the planning so it’s exciting that it’s nearly upon us. A lot of people have been involved in making it happen and we are grateful to our kind Ride Wild sponsors, Estarli for donating the bike and to Ben and Kate at Puddingstone Distillery for their huge contribution to the challenge. As this is a completely new venture for the Trust, we really hope that people will get behind it and sponsor Ben or buy raffle tickets, knowing that their money will be put to good use in protecting wild places and wildlife.’

Speaking of the challenge, Puddingstone Distillery founders, Ben and Kate Marston commented: ‘We’re really proud to be supporting the Ride Wild Challenge and the work of the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust. Now we’re down to the final preparations, the scale of the challenge is dawning but we’re pretty confident it’s going to be achievable. Through it, we hope people see just how quick and easy it is to get out and visit their local wild spots. There is often so much wildlife to be found within a stone’s throw that we know little about so we’re really looking forward to this being a learning experience and to sharing the knowledge of the experts we’ll be meeting along the way.’

The Ride Wild Challenge is organised as part of the 30 Days Wild campaign, a national event organised by The Wildlife Trusts, where participants are encouraged to do one wild thing every day throughout June. For more details of other 30 Days Wild initiatives throughout the month and to find out how you can still get involved, please visit