. One Nation . One Coastline . One Thousand Miles .
About Me
Dave Quarrell

I'm Dave Quarrell. I'm 26 years old and I live in Caerphilly (near Cardiff) with my wife, Tasha.

I was brought up in Cardiff and attended the Bishop of Llandaff High School, before studying Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Bristol.

I now work as a project manager for a major defence company - my day job currently involves a lot of barcodes. I'm also involved in developing a new Heritage visitor centre for our factory, which dates back to 1938.

I'm a keen amateur photographer, and I enjoy playing the piano and guitar. My other interests include history, cars and planes, and the natural world.

Although I enjoy a good walk, I am basically a non-athletic type, so this trek will be a serious test of my stamina!

About Gerry
Gerry Quarrell

Dad was born in Brecon on 26th July 1954, the fifth of ten children growing up in a 3-bedroom house!

He met my Mum, Mary, at Swansea University and they got married in 1979. He joined the Civil Service, working for what was then the Welsh Office (now the Welsh Government), where he spent his entire career.

Dad was a big figure in his community - he was heavily involved in fundraising for the local church, primary school and Scout group, and for several years coordinated the local Scout Christmas Post effort. He also found time to grow massive quantities of fruit and veg on his allotment, and was a lively member of Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir.

Dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer in summer 2010, and fought a year-long battle with the disease. For much of this time he was unable to eat as the tumour was blocking his stomach. Nonetheless, he managed to enjoy several trips away with Mum, and a few of his much beloved coastal walks.

I was very proud that Dad was able to make it to my wedding in April 2011, although this was the last few hours he spent out of a hospital bed. He died at home on 9th May 2011, aged just 56. Over 400 people came to his funeral.

Why Walk Wales?

As head of the Welsh Assembly Government's Nature, Access & Marine unit, one of Dad's major projects - for which he had great personal enthusiasm - was the creation of a Wales Coast Path, linking up existing National Trails and walking routes such as the Pembrokeshire, Gower and Lleyn Peninsula paths to make a single route along the entire coast. Combined with the Offa's Dyke Trail which skirts the Welsh border from Prestatyn to Chepstow, this makes Wales the first country in the world with a public walking trail around its whole perimeter.

The 850-mile Wales Coast Path is due to open on 5th May 2012 - the same week as the first anniversary of Dad's passing. If not for his illness, Dad would certainly have been there and he would have loved to take in some of the route himself. So my aim is to Walk Wales on his behalf - as a really meaningful tribute to his memory.

The idea first occurred to me in the few days before the funeral; many of the condolence cards we received from Dad's former colleagues mentioned his passion for the project. I did some quick calculations and realised that if I walk at an average 15 miles a day, 6 days a week, I'll complete the walk on or around Dad's 58th birthday on 26th July, and just before the start of the Olympic Games.

All in all - it just seemed that the walk had to be done, and it had to be done then. I hope he'd approve.

About Cancer Research Wales

Cancer Research Wales is the only totally independent national cancer research charity for Wales. Based at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff, it was founded in 1966 to support scientists and PhD students working to find new ways to treat cancer. All money raised is spent in Wales.

The money I raise will go directly to help fund the charity's pioneering work. I hope it'll help them to prevent other families going through the painful loss we've suffered.