North Cornwall man gives up worldly possessions to live off the land for charity
A Man from North Cornwall has given away all his worldly possessions and is catching his own food and living in a tent on beaches and cliffs in a bid to raise money for charity.
Paul Yendell, from Launceston, has quit his job as a team leader at Argos and disposed of all his worldly belongings to live the simple life in what he describes as his ‘Ray Mears Cornish coastal challenge’.
To survive, he plans to eat seaweed, limpets, mussels, catch fish and use a pump to filter water from rivers.
Mr Yendell, 36, is raising money for Greenpeace and has so far reached £300.
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He is walking between beaches in North Cornwall and Devon and hopes to visit Tintagel, Crackington Haven and Sandymouth.
He started from Bude 11 days ago because he was fairly sure he could catch mackerel there from the breakwater.
However, when reporter Colin Gregory met him in the driving rain on the beach at Widemouth Bay on Sunday, he admitted that, although the fish had so far eluded him, he had caught a small crab on the rocks which he had boiled in his cooking pot.
His main diet had been mussels and winkles he prised from the rocks, which he livened up with rock samphire, dandelion tip, flowers and stinging nettle tips.
“There is eight times more vitamin C in a stinging nettle tip than in an orange. I’m also eating seaweed,” he said.
He admits that his previous diet included spicy curries and kebabs.
“I keep dreaming about burgers and chips, so the junk food desire is still there. But by the time I finish my walk I expect to be converted.
“I’m carrying 30kg of equipment in my rucksack, including burners, fishing tools, nets, pots and pans and I’ve spent the past month researching how to live off the food I find.”
He said he hoped to live like survival expert Ray Mears for all four weeks.
A Buddhist for the past two years, he said his religion means that “I have no attachment to worldly goods. I have given away my TV, sound system and tropical fish”.
He added that the ground mat for his tent blew away on the cliffs so sleeping is uncomfortable.
“But on the rocks at Stanbury Mouth I started my Buddhist meditation. That was a spiritual experience.”
On Mr Yendell’s fundraising page, he said: “I will not be claiming any benefits and will be living from the grace of Mother Earth just as all life on this planet was intended to be.
“I’m not a trained survivalist and I’ve never caught a fish before.”
He plans to finish his attempt on his arrival in Tintagel on August 24, and after that he will be looking for a job.
He is inviting donations on www.virginmoneygiving.com/paulyendell.