Bedfordshire filmmaker who swam with sharks, filmed bears up close and tracked wolves is ready for 1,000 mile adventure across untamed European wilderness
Now this is what you call an adventure.
CLICK THE PICTURE GALLERY LINK ABOVE TO SEE SOME OF TOM’S AMAZING PICTURES INCLUDING HIS CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A BEAR
Wildlife filmmaker and adventurer Tom Young - who is from Stotfold in Bedfordshire and works at Whipsnade Zoo in Dunstable - is putting his body and kit through its paces as he prepares for a huge 1,000 mile solo trek across Europe’s wild and untamed region of Lapland.
Having swam with sharks in the Atlantic, filmed bears in primeval forests in Romania and tracked wolves across snowy peaks in Italy, Tom’s latest challenge is his biggest and wildest adventure yet.
Departing on July 25, Tom will start from the most Northern part of Europe at Nordkapp in Norway, don his rucksack and head South through Norway, Finland and Sweden, crossing through taiga forest, snow-capped mountains and immense wetlands rich with wildlife, wild camping along the way.
The daunting and exciting trip does not faze Tom, though.
“I’ve spent a lot of my free time over the past three years finding and filming wild animals in Europe that once lived right here in Britain but are now extinct from our island, largely due to the impact of man,” he said.
“Lapland is the big one for me, as you can find all of these animals in the same area. Wolves, bears, lynx, beaver, salmon, moose, and eagles all living in a vast wilderness that remains largely intact.
“I will be walking, eating and sleeping where all of these animals still naturally exist. I’m absolutely
buzzing at the thought!”
It will take around 70 days to cross Lapland from North to South. The traditional region of Lapland, also known as Sapmi, covers almost the entirety of the Arctic circle in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Western Russia. This has been the home of the native Sami people for thousands of years.
“I’m hoping to not only come across signs of amazing wildlife, but to also get a glimpse of what it is like for the Sami people to co-exist alongside large mammals, and how it has had an impact on their traditional livelihood of reindeer-herding.”
As a keen supporter of the rewilding movement, Tom believes in a wilder world with wilder people, and hopes that upon his return, his photographs, films and talks will inspire people to help reverse the decline in wildlife populations, get outside and enjoy the wilderness.
Tom will be producing an adventure documentary of his expedition which will be ready by January 2019, when he hopes to screen the film and deliver talks in schools and at events.
The expedition is raising funds for Trees for Life, one of the UK’s leading conservation volunteering charities, planting trees and restoring wildlife habitats in the Scottish Highlands, creating a wilderness forest where people and wildlife can thrive.
Anything you can give towards the cause is greatly appreciated by Tom at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/expeditionlapland
The expedition has been made possible by the kind sponsorship of brilliant equipment from DD Hammocks, Fjern and IsoBaa.
You can follow Tom’s progress on his website at www.tomyoungwildlife.com/lapland