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French aviators make flying visit to Shropshire on final of leg trans-Atlantic trip

Telford | News | Published:

Three French conservationists called in to Shropshire on one of the final legs of their trans-Atlantic journey in a light aircraft.

Bob Pooler, second from left, from Sherlowe, near Telford, with visiting pilots Alexis Peltier, left, Michel Laplace-Toulouse, centre and Thierry Barbier with his daughter Tarah Barbier

Alexis Peltier and Michel Laplace-Toulouse landed at Sherlowe Air Strip in High Ercall, near Telford, yesterday to meet their comrade Thierry Barbier who had landed a few days before.

Mr Barbier had met his daughter Tarah in Scotland and agreed to a stop in Shropshire as she has a half-brother and sister in the county.

The three men are taking on a challenge spanning more than 3,000 miles in a bid to raise awareness of the need for conservation across the world. They have flown in two planes from North America to Greenland, Iceland and Scotland.

Mr Barbier is now flying home to France as he ends his world tour taking pictures of the earth to show on his website to raise awareness of conservation, while Mr Peltier and Mr Laplace-Toulouse will travel on to Kenya where they live.

Mr Barbier said: "When I am in my plane, I feel like there are no boundaries and I am a citizen of the world.

"My daughter called me and said she had never flown with me so I bought her a ticket to meet me in Scotland.

"We flew down together. My daughter has a half-brother and sister in Telford so I left her here to meet up with them while I flew around Cornwall and over to Ireland."

Mr Barbier flew from America to Scotland before making his way down to Telford, where he met Mr Peltier and Mr Laplace-Toulouse.

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The trio had first met in Kenya 13 years ago and Mr Peltier said making the trip alone was no mean feat.

He said: "We followed Thierry's route and met him down here. What he has done is remarkable."

Mr Laplace-Toulouse said: "What we do is fly around the world promoting conservation.

"The planes that we use are usually for counting wildlife but we fly them around the world and give talks and lectures and spread the word.

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"We actually live in Kenya so we will be going to Paris but making our way back to Kenya in the end."

Bob Pooler, who owns the airfield, said: "It's a remarkable achievement what these guys have done.

"They flew down from Wick in Scotland which is a six-hour flight.

"Some of the guys we have who fly regularly would never dream of flying to Wick, let alone flying all the way across the Atlantic."

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