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URNU students complete fundraising epic walking Plymouth’s breakwater

17 August 2023
Eight students from Devon University Royal Naval Unit (URNU) gained rare access to Plymouth historic breakwater for the final mile of an epic charity coastal walk on behalf of the Service’s premier charity.

Officer Cadets from Plymouth and Exeter universities hiked the South West Coast Path from Land's End to Plymouth – covering 167 miles over ten days – and raising more than £1,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Defence Medical Welfare Service. 

The students, including seven hikers and one driving a support vehicle, set off from Land's End and headed east.

For the final leg of their journey, they looked to the breakwater in Plymouth for a unique finale.

The impressive 1,560m-long structure – accessible only by boat with permission from the MOD – was built at the height of the Napoleonic Wars to provide a safe anchorage for the Fleet and it’s one of Britain’s largest freestanding marine structures, acting as an artificial reef and home to many marine species.

The final leg of the walk was organised by Warrant Officer 1 Alex Orr from Naval Regional Command Wales and Western England, who secured permission to land on the breakwater and use of a local boat charter – Silverline – as well as invite the Lord Mayor of Plymouth Mark Shayer to welcome the walkers home.

"The opportunity to get on here is obviously very rare," he said. "It brought everyone together for the end, it was brilliant and that's the feeling that everyone's got from it – teamwork and camaraderie," said Devon URNU’s Josh Mellors.

 
The opportunity to get on here is obviously very rare," he said. "It brought everyone together for the end, it was brilliant and that's the feeling that everyone's got from it – teamwork and camaraderie.

Devon URNU’s Josh Mellors

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