South Scotland

'Human swan' Sacha Dench plans Scottish flight over Hebrides

Human swan Image copyright WWT/Ben Cherry
Image caption Sacha Dench completed her flight on the route of the migrating swans last year

A conservationist who made a 4,500-mile motorised paraglider flight along a route followed by migrating swans is planning a Scottish voyage.

Sacha Dench was dubbed "the human swan" when she followed the bird's path from the Arctic to the UK.

She is now planning to make a new aerial journey "from tip to toe of the Hebrides" in May.

Prior to that she will bring her flying machine to Dumfries as a guest at the Wild Film Festival Scotland.

The biologist and head of media for the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT) last year followed the migration route of the endangered Bewick's swan.

Now she will be speaking about the experience at the Robert Burns Centre in Dumfries as part of the film festival later this month.

Ms Dench is also making preparations for a planned "just for fun" paramotor flight the length of the Hebrides supported by a team on a tall ship.

Image copyright WWT/Ben Cherry
Image caption Ms Dench is a guest at the film festival in Dumfries this month

She said: "I love Scotland and have spent a lot of time there working on WWT projects and doing aerial photography.

"It's such a beautiful country.

"I have been to Harris and Skye and have always wanted to explore more of the islands, so when I was thinking about my next flight I thought it would be amazing to fly from tip to toe of the Hebrides.

"It will be a brilliant way to enjoy those really challenging environments - the rugged peaks and the sea."

Sid Ambrose, manager of the film festival, said Ms Dench's story was "hugely inspirational".

"We are proud to have her as one of our festival guests and know people are going to be really keen to come along and meet her," he said.

The festival takes place from 24 to 26 March in Dumfries.

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