Plymouth Marjon University student, Oscar Lindsey-Turner, is swapping his 35-minute drive to campus for a 50-hour journey, to attend Marjon’s Climate Conference on Wednesday 10 November.
The walk, from Oscar’s home in Totnes to Marjon’s campus in Derriford, will take just over two days, starting early on Monday 8 November. He’ll cross Burrator and Dartmoor and do two nights of wild camping before arriving on Wednesday November 10 in time for the conference.
Marjon’s Climate Conference marks the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, being held in Glasgow from 31 October and 12 November. It is part of an ambitious Marjon Zero project, which commits to making the university carbon-neutral by 2030. By March 2022 Marjon will be one of the greenest universities in the country. It has already installed 2000 solar panels and 120 ground source heat pumps are being fitted now, which together will save a total of 917 tonnes of carbon per year.
At the conference, staff and students will listen to guest speakers, share a free plant-based lunch, and engage in collaborative workshops to shape the next phase of Marjon Zero.
Oscar, an Outdoor Adventure Education student, says: “It’s not about doing the walk as fast as I can, and it’s not even about raising money. I’m doing it to spark conversations, raise awareness about sustainability and show that connecting to nature is essential for your mental health during this time of uncertainty. I want the walk to use it to inspire others.”
Members of the Marjon community will be joining Oscar on sections of his journey to show their support, including Marjon’s new chancellor, the Rt Reverend Bishop Nick McKinnel. He’ll be cheered on by local school children as he passes Diptford Primary School, and will return to see them afterwards to talk about connecting to nature and sustainability.
Vice Chancellor of Plymouth Marjon University, Professor Rob Warner, says: “We’re really proud of the progress we’re making on reducing our carbon emissions on campus, but we always know we can do more. Oscar’s walk highlights how important the climate crisis is to young people. We want our conference to be a moment of hope which enables our students to share their expectations and ideas on sustainability; as individuals, as a university and across the world.”
Book on to Marjon’s next Open Day on Wednesday 24 November to find out more about our courses and to see how we’re manage our campus with sustainability in mind.