Mark Richards has set himself an extraordinary aquatic challenge that will see him swim round Cornwall over the next two summers. He’ll tackle the 470 km challenge in bite sized chunks and all to say thank you to the Cornish charity that cared for his father-in-law at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell.

Mark, who’s about to retire from a career as a Civil Engineer, had considered swimming the channel or the Straits of Gibraltar and then realised there was an ideal opportunity on his doorstep, “I’ve swum in many beautiful spots around Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and it suddenly occurred to me that we have a perfect challenge right here. I can’t do the swim in one go, so plan to tackle it piece by piece over the next two years. The distance is the swimming equivalent of 46 marathons, but I’ll swim between five and ten kilometres each time and can wait for suitable and safe conditions.”

Mark’s inspiration comes from the nursing teams who cared for his wife Gill’s father, Peter Saville. “He was a very brave man and was superbly cared for at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice. He received amazing support, which I was stunned to find is funded mostly by charitable donations. I hope we never need the team there again but our community most certainly will and I really think fundraising for them is worth all the effort.”

Mark has already started the 2017 season, taking his trusty camper van to the end point of each swim, then cycling back to the start, swimming and then driving to collect the bike. “It’s a great way to see Cornwall up close and personal” he says with a grin. “I‘ve also enlisted the support of local sea kayakers and friends and professionals with rigid inflatable boats (RIB’s) to support me, more especially for the exposed sections of coast around Land’s End and The Lizard. I’d be delighted to welcome any serious sea swimmers who’d like to join me on any of the legs too.”

To support Mark’s marathon sea swimming adventure, you can donate on his fundraising page –

You can also follow his challenge and see the schedule of swims on his Facebook page – @roundcornwallswim

Cornwall Hospice Care will also be reporting on his adventures via their website and social media channels.

Notes to editors:

The attached pictures show Mark with his dog, Dylan on Perranporth Beach and one of Mark ready for action in his wetsuit.

Cornwall Hospice Care contact:

For more information please contact Tamsin Thomas on 01726 65711 (ext. 254) or 07970 232505 or email

About Cornwall Hospice Care:

Cornwall Hospice Care is a 24/7 Cornish charity that provides specialist care for people with terminal illnesses. Our nursing teams support patients and their families at Mount Edgcumbe Hospice in St Austell, St Julia’s Hospice in Hayle and in Cornwall’s hospitals, care homes and where necessary, in the community. The charity also runs a 24 hour advice line for other healthcare professionals. It costs over £5 million to provide the specialist care we offer to our in and out patients. Only 20% of this is funded through a contribution from Cornwall’s NHS Commissioners. The other £4million is raised via the support of people in Cornwall who leave us legacies, support fundraising events, play our lottery and visit our 31 shops.

Charity number: 1113140