Three pairs of boots, countless socks, and a kilt that’s falling apart – that’s been the price so far on Michael Yellowlees’ journey, walking up to 50km a day.
“Yeah, now he has calves like tree trunks,” laughs his brother, Jamie Yellowlees.
Michael walks through Canada to tell people about deforestation in the Scottish highlands, where he is from.
“If you visit the Scottish highlands, you will see that the landscape is quite barren and bare,” he told Global News at a stop Tuesday at the foot of the Galipeault Bridge in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
“It’s a bit like a desert in the northern hemisphere.”
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He began his walk seven months ago in Tofino, BC, and arrived in Sainte-Anne Tuesday morning, escorted by two pipers.
Michael explained that Scotland has been destroying its trees for generations, resulting in almost no forest and hardly any wildlife.
“We are trying to bring some life back to Scotland in that sense and revive the ecology there,” he said.
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He’s trying to raise funds for Trees for Life, a charity dedicated to restoring the Scottish Highlands.
“What Trees for Life is trying to do is restore the Caledonian pine forest that used to stretch from coast to coast in Scotland at one time,” explained the hiker.
On your website, the group has information about its tree-planting efforts, as well as projects to reintroduce certain animal species, such as the red squirrel and lynx.
“It’s part of my reason for being in Canada too,” Michael said, “is to experience the wild nature that you have here. I’m also trying to remind Canadians that what they have here is really precious and to take care of it because it is such a beautiful thing. “
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Environmentalists like Montreal’s Chris Adam from Dawson College’s Office of Sustainability have long warned about the importance of trees.
“They filter the air, they extract water from the ground and put it back into the air, they clean the particles and also the air pollution.”
Jamie, who joined the walk for a couple of weeks to keep his brother company, agrees and said there is one thing he takes from his brother’s efforts.
“Go out there and do something to help the environment if you can,” he emphasized.
His brother’s 5,000-mile walk ends in about two months in Newfoundland and Labrador. He said it has raised more than $ 30,000 so far.
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