Modeshift have been introducing an inspiring Active Travel Champion each week throughout Black History Month to celebrate every day people inspiring every day journeys. We are delighted to continue this celebration of travel champions.
A celebration of walking and cycling during Black History Month and beyond!
This week we meet, Clare Francis-Slater Active Travel Champion.
Tell us about you and your active journey?
My name is Clare Francis-Slater, I am a primary school teacher and educational consultant championing diversity in our schools. I live in Duffield in rural Derbyshire. I have lived in rural green areas most of my life and enjoy the benefits of being in the countryside and fresh air.
Where do you stroll?
I enjoy walking around the fields with my dog where I live.
Sometimes, I just walk around the park and nature reserve at the back of our house and other times I walk for hours over the fields around us. I try to do one long walk once a week and go for shorter walks most days, when I can. If it’s late and I’m tired, I just go round the houses nearby to get some fresh air at the end of a long day. I like to walk alone, with friends and with my family and my parents.
I have a few favourite local walks; The Chevin, which includes walking along a beautiful old Roman road at the top of a hillside, which is particularly gorgeous at autumn time; Bunkers, which involves walking up a steep hill ending up at a cluster of trees and an amazing view of Duffield below, this walk can also end in a nice pub stop in Quarndon at The Joiners Arms.
What motivates you to stride?
It started when I was young, I used to walk a lot in the countryside with my dog, where I grew up in Derbyshire and I loved it – time to be in nature, with my own thoughts and just being. I walk because I like it and it makes me feel good. If I feel troubled, it puts my worries into perspective. I have some of my best creative ideas when I’m out on a walk.
How do you champion the cause?
Try it – you might like it. You don’t have to go far, just go a bit and see the difference that it makes to you. After I had breast cancer in 2018, part of my recovery from my low mood that followed was to go out walking. I have written a book about what helped me feel better, walking was a big part of my recovery. My book is called, ‘Little Book of Balm for the Broken Soul’ follow my social media for news of its publication date.