CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

5 minutes with: Ed Suttie

PUBLISHED: 17:55 30 March 2016 | UPDATED: 18:27 30 March 2016

Ed Suttie begins his North Pole trek on April 5

Ed Suttie begins his North Pole trek on April 5


A St Albans ‘middle-aged husband and dad’ who this month will trek 200km over 21 days to the North Pole to raise £30,000 for charities that have a big impact in Herts

Ed will be returning to his roots - his first job after University was working for the British Antarctic SurveyEd will be returning to his roots - his first job after University was working for the British Antarctic Survey

Why the polar trek?

I was inspired when I read about Australian polar guide Eric Philips whose company organises expeditions. Who would not want to stand on top of the world? I was ready for a challenge and felt it was an amazing opportunity to raise £30,000 for charity in a city where I have lived for 20 years – it’s time to give something back. My friends think I’m crazy, brave, odd, inspiring – a real mixture! My family has been incredibly supportive. Clare my wife and ‘polar PA’ has been organising lots of fundraising events for the charities including a Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day – 150 brave people jumped in a freezing outdoor pool, raising over £5,000. I also just gave a talk at my children’s school, Aboyne Lodge Primary, and they were very proud of their polar dad.

What charities are you supporting?

I was keen to connect strongly with my local community. Cancer is a disease that touches us all. My dad died way too young from it, so did my neighbour last year and others I know are battling it now. In 1970 you had a one-in-four chance of surviving cancer, in 2010 it was two-in-four and Cancer Research UK is working towards three. Rennie Grove Hospice Care supports people with life-limiting diseases and their families in Herts and has to raise huge amounts of money each year to deliver existing services let alone new ones. The support they gave to my neighbour was amazing.

Earthworks St Albans is a wonderful charity working with 60 trainees who have learning difficulties or brain injuries on a four-acre allotment growing fruit and veg for sale. The trainees gain horticultural skills but most importantly have a superb social environment to build self-confidence and make friends.

I am also raising money for UK Antarctic Heritage Trust which looks after the fabulous historic polar explorer buildings in Antarctica.

Have you done anything like this before?

My first job out of university was working for the British Antarctic Survey as a glaciologist studying pollution records in ice cores in Antarctica. I completed two summer seasons, travelling around Coats Land collecting samples and recording data. I also spent a month assisting a glaciologist in Svalbard in the high Arctic. This was all a long time ago in the early 1990s, but once you’ve been to the polar regions you can’t seem to shake off the draw of icy places.

How do you prepare?

I started training in June, joining a gym and getting my first personal trainer! It requires whole body fitness and I do something every day including running, strengthening muscles, yoga and cardio work. I’ve also popped into the Snow Centre in Hemel Hempstead to refresh my ski skills.

I’m most looking forward to getting into the rhythm of the trek. There are five of us including the guide and we work together as a team sharing chores and jobs including navigation. After a couple of days we will get into the rhythm and should be working well.

How can people support the fundraising?

There are so many ways. I am seeking direct sponsorship and donations from individuals and businesses, 100% of which goes to charity as I am self-funding the expedition. Full details are at


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

39 minutes ago

Right at Home, with offices in Southampton, Winchester, Portsmouth, Farnham and the surrounding areas; offer home care for adults of all ages and the elderly

Read more

Husband and dad of two, Father Nick, of the Benefice of the Cookhams, is looking forward to bringing people together this Christmas

Read more

Some of Sussex’s best known personalities have revealed in the magazine what they most love about the county. Here, we compile their stories, favourite restaurants, pubs, shops, views and places to visit

Read more

It has been 40 years since canine charity The Dogs Trust launched its most famous campaign – yet the message remains as pertinent today as it did all those years ago

Read more
December 2018

Cricketer-turned-commentator David ‘Bumble’ Lloyd talks about Lancashire’s hopes, the challenges facing the game, and his new book.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:01

Actress, singer and entertainer, Anita Harris has travelled the world in an illustrious career that spans over five decades. From her home in Chertsey, she talks to Tinx Newton about the people she has worked with, her tour and life in Surrey

Read more

Kent Life looks at the contribution ellenor makes to patient care at Christmas, in the hospice and through its community palliative care teams

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 12:08

His first job was as a window cleaner on a timeshare resort. Now Steven Hesketh heads a growing hotel and restaurant empire which includes The Townhouse in Chester

Read more
Yesterday, 10:46

Rosemary Taylor, principal clarinet in the Orpheus Sinfonia, gives an insight into performing the music to a Christmas classic on its 40th anniversary

Read more
December 2018
Yesterday, 10:03

Berkhamsted’s Mary Casserley is inspired by history, trains and the posters of the Art Deco period. Her paintings celebrate them all

Read more
December 2018

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search