Batty Wooler woman races home for charity

Anne Youngman.Anne Youngman.
Anne Youngman.
A Wooler woman has completed a 45-mile ultramarathon challenge included an ascent over 6,000 feet and running through the night.

A keen bat enthusiast, Anne Youngman has raised nearly £3,000 towards the conservation charity Bats without Borders.

The ultramarathon started in Melrose and followed the St Cuthbert's Way long-distance trail.

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The event began at 10.30pm, which meant running through the night but Anne’s special interest is bats, so she did her running with a bat detector attached to her pack.

Celebrating Anne's epic achievement.Celebrating Anne's epic achievement.
Celebrating Anne's epic achievement.

The detector picks up the ultrasonic calls the bats make and records them for identification later.

Anne said, "I saw quite a few bats as the sky gradually got lighter, but I expect to have recorded lots more that I just could not see.

"The St Cuthbert’s Way goes through some wonderful areas of bat habitat (areas with woodland, water and wildflowers), so I'm really looking forward to seeing what types of bats I have recorded."

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Anne worked for the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT), as its Scottish officer for 15 years before retiring in 2018.

Anne Youngman on St Cuthbert's Way.Anne Youngman on St Cuthbert's Way.
Anne Youngman on St Cuthbert's Way.

She did her first marathon and raised around £5,000 for BCT in 2021.

She is now an education team volunteer for Bats without Borders, a charity focused on bat conservation in southern Africa.

Anne says: “Bats are an incredibly important, and much misunderstood, group of mammals that are vulnerable to human impacts. They are a critical species in the ecosystems in which they live - controlling insect pests, pollinating plants, and dispersing seeds.

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"Sadly, Africa is considered a bat conservation void and bats are largely unprotected outside of protected areas. Habitat loss, land degradation and persecution are major threats to bat populations.”

Anne's goal was to finish her ultra and still be able to smile. She was delighted not only to achieve this but also to be the first female finisher in her age category F60-69.

"To be honest, I was the only female in that category so as long as I finished I was bound to be first (and last). Still, I'm very proud to be the oldest female entrant."

Anne said, "I was brought up in Wooler and still have lots of family and friends in the area. It was wonderful to revisit my old haunts and then to finish on a high note with friends and family to share the experience."

To sponsor Anne’s epic endeavour, please visit: