Everyone at ARC would like to say a huge thank you to Kaylem who has challenged himself to complete the Welsh 3000s this summer in aid of our Sponsor the Natterjack Toad appeal! In this guest blog Kaylem tells us a bit about himself, the challenge and why he chose to support the conservation of these charismatic amphibians.  

About me

Challenging myself physically started at the beginning of the very first lockdown. Since 2016, I had gained weight and my fitness level wasn’t great. I was fortunate to be able to work from home during lockdown, and this meant I had a lot of spare time on my hands. So, I decided to fill this spare time with exercise.  

Living on the doorstep of Snowdonia National Park, I took the opportunity to explore what it had to offer. I started running and even challenged myself to climb some if its tallest peaks. Exercising more meant I lost a ton of weight and in 2021 I wanted a greater challenge. I’ve always been an advocate for wildlife conservation charities, so it seemed the perfect opportunity to raise money, make a difference and get even fitter!  

My first challenge was to run 100 miles in one month. After that, I completed the Welsh Three Peaks with my dad and partner and ran a marathon in October 2021. I loved every single minute of these challenges; they’ve played a big part of my life and I intend to continue raising money and awareness for conservation.  

The challenge

The Welsh 3000s is a gruelling challenge. It involves hiking 15 mountains in the Snowdonia National Park, spanning 30 miles and climbing up to 3000 ft. While many complete the challenge over several days, my team and I are planning on climbing the 15 mountains in less than 16 hours! 

Why natterjacks?

Now that the planning and preparation for the Welsh 3000s was underway, the next job was deciding on a worthy charity to raise funds and awareness for. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) has been a charity close to my heart for some time, the work they do is just incredible. Their website shows the many different appeals they run, one which caught my attention was the natterjack toad appeal. So, I thought I’d set up a JustGiving page for these little amphibians. (Apparently, I make a lot of puns, so I’ve been toad… Please forgive me!)  

Jokes aside, I visited Ainsdale Sand Dunes in Merseyside regularly while studying in Liverpool. Initially, it was to see the red squirrels, but soon after my attention was drawn to the natterjack toads. I was intrigued when I spotted them exploring the dunes.  

Generally, I feel amphibians and reptiles in the UK are not a conservation priority; they’re often over looked. So, for me ARC’s Natterjack Toad Appeal is an ideal cause to contribute towards, not to mention their interesting ecology. It’s perfect to talk about when creating content during my challenge.  

You can keep up with Kaylem’s training via his Instagram account @kaylem_staniforth and show your support by sponsoring him on his JustGiving page:

Donate