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Oswestry man hits the road traveller style for charity

Oswestry | News | Published: | Last Updated:

A man who has gone back to basics and taken up a traveller lifestyle to raise funds for charity has reached Bala as he journeys to Dolgellau by horse and cart.

Dave Ellis, from Lutton Close, Oswestry, is living off the land and relying on his knowledge of edible plant life to survive during the trip, which he is making with his faithful horse Coby Lad.

Since Friday Mr Ellis, 65, has travelled 30 miles from his home in Oswestry, accompanied by a support crew who will make sure he sticks to his all-natural diet and record some of his meals for a DVD.

"I'm living in my bowtop cart and surviving entirely off the land," said Mr Ellis, who is now retired but previously ran the Beaverz Ally Reclamation Yard in Froncysyllte, near Chirk, which is now managed by his son Ben.

"I've been feeding off nettles, dandelions, making jam from berries, catching fish, and I've had two lots of roadkill."

"I know quite a bit about what you can and can't eat and I'm trying quite a few new recipes such as nettle root coffee.

"I'm be cooking on traditional iron pots and it's all being done outdoors, no matter what the weather."

The unusual fundraiser is in memory of his wife Chris, who died from cancer on New Year's Eve 2013. She was diagnosed with breast cancer before it spread into her bones, and she was nursed at home by Mr Ellis and their four sons, Lee, Darren, Ben and Sam. All the sponsorship money Mr Ellis raised will be given to Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital's Bone Cancer Centre Appeal.

Mr Ellis set himself a target of £600, but said he is well on his way to doubling that.

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"People have been so generous," he said. "I've had a bucket on the back of the cart and every village we go through people are tossing money in. We've raised over £1,000 so day and we've still got half the trip to go.

"It's a cause that means a lot to the whole family and we will always be grateful for the care Chris received."

And he said while he's the spokesman for the challenge, the real star of the show is Coby Lad.

"He's wonderful. He's done great. He deserves a horse medal when we get back, he's been so good," he said,

To donate to Mr Ellis's fundraising efforts visit Beaverz Ally Reclamation Yard, Froncysyllte, or call Mr Ellis on 07434 921441.

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