Eco-hero Steve Hughes wants your support as he embarks on another mighty challenge to raise cash for a Chester project inspired by the supertrees of Singapore.
This Saturday (July 21) Steve aims to run 100km or 62 miles – two-and-a-half marathons – in less than 10 hours on a treadmill in the centre of the Mecca bingo roundabout.
This is the place he hopes can be transformed from grot-spot to wildlife haven in a £150,000 project featuring three 7m-high supertrees.
These tree-shaped metal structures would be home to climbing plants and attract birds and bugs – another £50,000 is needed to make it happen.
Steve is the public face of ForEST – For Eco Supertrees – a group of volunteers who hope individuals and companies will dig deep in sponsoring Steve but also go along on the day when there will be stalls, a bar, live music, face-painting and competitions.
A treadmill will be placed either side of Steve allowing others to run next to him for a donation with a prize for whoever can run the fastest 1km.
Previously Steve, 27, from Liverpool Road, Chester, ran seven marathons in seven days in seven countries to raise money for the cause.
“I’m nervous about this one. It will definitely be harder than seven marathons in seven days because the pace is really, really quick,” said Steve, a scientist, who aims to raise £10,000 on Saturday. “Getting people down on the day is the real key to the success of the event.”
Chester supertrees would be similar in concept but smaller in scale to the 50m-high spectacular supertrees of Singapore which feature walkways and cafes. There would be lots of planting with many allotment and gardening groups backing the project which would also create a pleasant place to sit and relax.
The supertrees would incorporate solar panels and light up at night. There could be carbon monitors and weather stations on the site. And there are plans for artwork such as wall murals created by the community.
Steve says the supertrees will improve bio-diversity in the city centre but accepts the project is more about promoting the idea of ‘humanity and nature living in harmony’.
“I have always loved nature. I think every kid grows up loving nature – some of us lose it – and in the last five or ten years I think we have all become more aware the majority of the issues the planet faces are caused by humans and therefore it’s only humans who are going to fix it.”
He added: “The council are supportive and we’ve had many meetings with them and some landscape designs have been drawn up by the council.”
■ Saturday’s event takes place from 10am until 10pm. Everyone is welcome.
■ To support Steve’s latest challenge, donate here .