Cop26: ‘Human swan’ set to fly around Britain to raise awareness on climate change

‘I’m doing it to try and demonstrate just how far we can go in terms of decarbonising our transport and our lifestyles in general’

Eleanor Sly
Friday 18 June 2021 16:27
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<p>Ms Dench hopes to complete the trip in six weeks</p>

Ms Dench hopes to complete the trip in six weeks

A woman who has been nicknamed “the human swan” is about to launch a circumnavigation of mainland Britain in an attempt to raise awareness about climate change and global warming.

Sacha Dench said that she is feeling excited about her 3,000 mile long trip in an adapted electric paramotor, which she says is to mark the Cop26 UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow later in the year.

Ms Dench will begin her journey from Glasgow on Monday 32 June, weather permitting, and will fly anticlockwise around mainland Britain. The journey should take six weeks in total.

The Australian lost her family home to the country’s bushfires last year and has since turned her focus to campaigning about climate change.

When asked why she has decided to take to the skies in an electric-powered paramotor, Ms Dench told PA news: “I’m doing it to try and demonstrate just how far we can go in terms of decarbonising our transport and our lifestyles in general.”

She went on to say: “I think can show us that whilst Britain drove the industrial revolution, we can drive the green revolution too.”

Adding: “If Britain is going to host the global conference on climate change then it’s the best time for the whole country to rally behind big actions, big bold actions from the politicians.”

The UN Cop26 event will be held in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November, going against calls from climate change activist Greta Thunberg to postpone it due to the pandemic.

When asked how she feels about the journey, Ms Dench said: “I’m feeling excited, feeling a bit nervous, I’m feeling excited about it, I’m really interested to see how the country responds and I’m most fascinated to hear the stories of people all around the country.”

The expedition is sponsored by EDF and has been described as an extreme test over challenging landscapes.

Ms Dench also hopes that she will set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest, and first, flight around Britain in a paramotor, as well as the first long-distance expedition attempted with an electric paramotor.

She added: “You do get incredible views, but they also put a lot of the issues in this country in context, so you really see a landscape and how everything fits together, so that is really fascinating.”

In response to the challenge, Simone Rossi, EDF UK chief executive, said:”Let’s break some world records and help Britain achieve Net Zero.”

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