A NEW ZEALAND-born adventurer is heading for Herefordshire after travelling the globe completing epic challenges.

Sophie Marsh, 28, is to paddle, walk, cycle and kayak the 64 miles of the river Lugg from its source in the Welsh hills above Llangunllo to the Wye at Mordiford, near Hereford.

She was contacted by her aunt, Mayor of Leominster Trish Marsh, and was quick to accept the challenge.

Miss Marsh is fresh to the UK after backpacking and climbing volcanoes through Indonesia, and a self-drive safari through Botswana, camping alongside elephants and wild animals.


This year she has competed in two big team adventure races, a three-and-a-half-day expedition through the Fiordland Wilderness Area, and GODZone, a 600-kilometre multi-discipline trek, bike and raft race from the west to the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand over six days.

“It was difficult terrain and I had very little sleep”, she said

Miss Marsh is relishing the chance to get back to nature as she journeys downstream while raising funds for Mayor Trish Marsh's chosen charity, the Herefordshire branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE).

She will begin her journey on August 7 and her progress can be tracked on CPRE Herefordshire’s Facebook and twitter feeds.

"I look forward to tracking this amazing river as it snakes across and around two countries,” Miss Marsh said.

"I’ll be paddling, walking, biking and kayaking – whatever it takes.

I will certainly get to know the river first hand as I move downstream."

Miss Marsh is more than aware of the problems affecting the rivers in Herefordshire, having visited many times with her dad since she was six months old.

She said: "I know there are serious problems with water quality in the Wye catchment and I hope to meet some of the hundreds of citizen scientists who test along the length of the river to find out what they are doing and why."