One Man's 400-mile walk to save his village

A 55-year-old family man from Harmondsworth is so determined to save his village from a third runway that he is embarking on a 400-mile walk to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, where he hopes to speak to the First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon. 

At 11am on Tuesday 4th April, local builder Neil Kevenen will lace up his walking boots and head off from The Five Bells in Harmondsworth to begin his quest to discover why the Scottish National Party (SNP) is backing a third runway with its destruction of several villages and displacement of thousands of people.

Among the well-wishers gathered by the village green to give Neil a rousing send-off as he takes his first steps on this challenging journey will be Ray Puddifoot, Leader of Hillingdon Borough Council, who fully supports the fight against further Heathrow expansion. 

Day One - The Five Bells pub in Harmondsworth to Chesham

Day One - The Five Bells pub in Harmondsworth to Chesham


Neil's plan to undertake a mammoth walk has raised some eyebrows simply because he appeared to have no history of sporting achievement or even a gym membership! After a strenuous day at work building and renovating other people's homes, Neil could be excused for not taking up jogging or lifting weights when he finally managed some precious time at home.

Relaxing with Paddy the cat after a hard day's work

Relaxing with Paddy the cat after a hard day's work

The walk will be an estimated 394 miles if Neil doesn't deviate from the planned route and should finish on Thursday 27 April at the Scottish Parliament. There will be a theme for each day and a number of campaigners and politicians will join Neil for sections along the way.

The route covers places within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Scottish Borders, Midlothian and Edinburgh. It's an ambitious quest and SHE will be keeping in touch with Neil and reporting on his progress through the website and social media. 

I am not one of nature’s walkers but I felt I had to do this for my family, my village and the wider campaign.
— Neil Keveren on why he is taking on this tough physical challenge

Neil Keveren, who was born in the neighbouring village of Sipson and has lived in the area all his life, hopes that his walk will highlight the reasons a third runway should not go ahead. As well as being a non-athlete, Neil is a bit of a technophobe but is preparing to face another challenge - daily updates by devices other than his usual elderly-but-functional mobile phone. 

So there should be daily updates using Facebook Live and even Instagram. Or perhaps we are expecting Neil to run before he can walk!

If you have a Twitter account, the SHE team will be giving updates on the Stop Heathrow Expansion twitter page @StopHeathrowExp.