AS I reach the halfway stage of the 30-mile Dearne Way walk, I look down and smile at Gomez, our Boston Terror (you’ll understand soon enough). He has negotiated the terrain with ease, thanks to his red action harness, which has a little handle on the back that lets me lift him over a stile before we take a break and admire the view.
I’ve always had a real passion for walking and it’s so much better with a four-legged friend by my side. My partner Mark and I got Gomez after I relocated from North Yorkshire to live with him in the Dearne Valley. Both keen walkers, we met while trekking in Morocco in 2010 (it’s a small world).
It has taken time to adjust to living in South Yorkshire but my job as project support officer at the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership (DVLP), a scheme that works with local communities to protect, preserve and enhance the area, has helped me to fall in love with the surroundings.
We live in Barnburgh, a lovely rural village set between Barnsley and Doncaster on the edge of the Dearne Valley. Buzzards can often be seen circling overhead and it’s a haven for a variety of flora and fauna.
While we’re at work, Mark’s parents take care of Gomez during the day. We are fortunate that they also live in Barnburgh and are keen walkers, so he gets all the exercise he needs. At just two years old, he’s still full of energy so, when we return home, we head out every evening to explore the m