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  • Mike has completed a sponsored coast to coast walk along the path of Hadrian's Wall, raising funds for Pilgrim Bandits.
  • Many thanks for all the kind donations - the target of £1,000 was exceeded and every penny will go to Pilgrim Bandits.
Coast to Coast - Walking the length of Hadrian's Wall!

Mike on Hadrian's Wall In 2007 Mike was a photographer embedded with troops in Afghanistan. Amongst the many things he saw, he spent time in military hospitals where wounded and severely injured service men and women (as well as civilians) were brought for primary care.

His time in Afghanistan fostered an immense respect in him for what our services do for us and the often perilous circumstances in which they work.

During his walk he is raising funds for a charity called Pilgrim Bandits which primarily assists those unfortunate enough to have lost one or more limbs.

Pilgrim Bandits ĎPilgrim Bandits know that adversity, challenges and obstacles serve to strengthen the human spirit. But for some of those we support, just to smile or enjoy the company of others, is an almost insurmountable task. We endeavour to get them to believe in a life worth living again. Through Pilgrim Bandits they push to new limits. They help others. They inspire children and young people by working with schools and care centres. They raise funds like other charities, and they also try to fund research to push scientific and engineering advances into prosthetic limbs. The Pilgrim Bandits will never ask for your charity... but, we will ask for your support.í

Links to their website and Mike's fund-raising page are below.

As Mike is giving up a week of time, please can you give up a bit of cash? It really would be very much appreciated. Thank you.

Pilgrim Bandits Website
Mike's fundraising page - THANK YOU FOR ALL DONATIONS
Click here to view the Hadrian's Wall photo gallery!

Walking across the Bering Straits

May 12th - I recently returned from Moscow and meetings with the British Ambassador and American Embassy. I also met with renowned Russian explorers Matvey and Dmitri Shparo at the Russian Polar Society.

Mike Laird meeting US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft, UK Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow, and Matvey and Dmitri Shparo in Moscow

March 15th - Mike and James returned to the UK after a successful recce. Jamesí frostbite and Mikeís wrist injury are both fully mended. Progress is being made on how to refine some of the kit and in general itís looking good for 2016.

British duo attempt Bering Strait ice crossing The Nome Nugget
Daredevil gears up for -40C run in 100mph gales The Scotsman

Royal Patron: HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO
The expedition team are delighted and honoured to announce that following the recce to the Bering Strait in March and subsequent meetings at Kensington Palace in London, His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent GCVO has agreed to be the expeditionís Patron.

Read further articles, radio and TV interviews
Visit the Bering Challenge 2016 website

Land's End to John O'Groats

With summer approaching fast, and finding myself with a few weeks to spare (a rare luxury for me!), I decided to go through my bucket list and see if I could tick anything off.

As I had recently been taking to my bike regularly to get fitter, item number 27 (cycle across Britain) jumped out at me, and that was it. Bike and tent were in the car and I was off to Land's End!

Read my Travel Diary.
See some photos of my journey.

The Bonham Carter Lecture

I was invited to talk about mudhifs in the Iraq Marshes for the 31st Bonham Carter Lecture at the British Academy on behalf of the British Institute for the study of Iraq (BISI).

My lecture was based around the mudhifs of southern Iraq, both their history and construction, and my planned BISI-funded project to build one of these traditional reed houses with the local community in the marshes of Chabaish, between Qurnah and Nasiriyah.

Listen to Mike's lecture at the BISI website.
See photos of the mudhif project in Iraq in the Photo Gallery.

Trek to the Magnetic North Pole

For some people to reach 'A Pole' is a life long ambition. For me though it was something that really only came onto my radar about two years ago although it had crossed my mind many years prior.

In those two years prior to my setting off on foot for the Magnetic North Pole, I needed to gain many new skills beforehand as well as build on some existing ones. First Aid, gun handling, navigation and general camp craft were relatively easy and just the beginning.

Satellite Communications, understanding polar bear psychology and learning about frost bite treatments all added to the arsenal of skills needed to keep us in one piece in this hostile environment, and ensure our safe return.....

Read more in the North Pole Travel Diary and Photo Gallery.

Mike Laird reaches the Magnetic North Pole Swimming the English Channel

Well, I am so sorry to say we did not make it across the Channel. To be honest very few make it across on their first attempt.

We started before 2a.m. in the pitch black wearing strobes on the back of our heads and with light sticks pinned to our swim trunks. It was all going quite well for a while and then the breast-strokers (which I have to confess includes me) found it too difficult to overcome the currents brought about by the unusually strong spring tides. If you have ever been constantly smacked in the face by wave after wave and not been able to make the necessary progress then you will know what I mean! We were going forward but we were going sideways too.

Read more in the Channel Swim Diary.
Where is Mike?

Mike is in Uganda.

Social Media

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Mike on BBC Radio Scotland

Mike Laird on BBC Radio Scotland - 12th June 2014

An interview with Mike covering a range of his travels was aired on BBC Radio Scotland on the 12th June 2014.

Click on the PRESS tab to hear the interview.

Associations and Charities

Mike is a Director of MarocAroundTheClock, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Trustee of the Scientific Exploration Society, and an honorary member of the Anglo-Bolivian Society.

(C) Mike Laird 2017