Nearly 1,000 people marched the Scottish hills while taking part in the 2024 Cateran Yomp, marking 80 years since D-Day and the founding of the Army Benevolent Fund.

Soldiers, veterans, and civilians from across the globe trekked up to 54 miles across the glens and foothills of the Cairngorm Mountains in Perthshire to raise funds for the Army Benevolent Fund during the 13th Cateran Yomp.

Team of walkers climbing up a hill with lake in the background as part of the Cateran Yomp
Members of 3 Scots Regiment trekking up the Perthshire hills at the Cateran Yomp.

Participants, aged 16 to 79, travelled from as far away as the USA, Australia, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, and Denmark to complete the challenge of covering 22, 36 or 54 miles on foot in less than 24 hours. The event took place two days after the 80th anniversary of D-Day, and just as the Army Benevolent Fund is celebrating its own 80th birthday.

Team of young Army Cadets trekking in Scotland as part of Cateran Yomp
Members of the Army Cadet Force joined the Cateran Yomp as part of the Babcock Cadet Challenge. (Photo – Ed Smith)

The Cateran Yomp has raised millions of pounds for the Army Benevolent Fund, with donations funding everything from wheelchair ramps for soldiers’ homes, to respite care and personal recovery plans for injured soldiers returning from the front line. In FY 23/24 alone, the charity supported around 75,000 members of the Army family in 51 countries around the world. The youngest person supported was just one day old, with the eldest aged 104.


Mark Harding (47), war veteran and Ambassador of this year’s Cateran Yomp, was there to welcome participants, having completed his own personal challenge to reach the event. Mark walked from his home near Carlisle to Blairgowrie, taking 10 days to cover around 10 miles per day on crutches.

Veteran Mark Harding crossing Cateran Yomp finish line, beneath a banner and on crutches, accompanied by a bagpiper.
Veteran Mark Harding crossing the Cateran Yomp finish line, having walked there from his home on crutches. (Photo: G Niven)

Mark served with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment for 16 years, before he was injured in Afghanistan and left paralysed. He was determined to overcome his injuries and learn to walk again, a goal he achieved two and a half years later.

Mark said, “Although I couldn’t walk the full route in the stipulated 24 hours, I’m proud to say I walked to the event instead and felt exceptionally proud and privileged to wish those taking part the very best of luck as they set off on this amazing challenge.

“When I was paralysed from the neck down, the Army Benevolent Fund gave me the funds to convert my house and kickstart my recovery, both physical and mental.  Since then, I’ve been determined to push the boundaries and give as much back as possible. I’m proud to support the Army Benevolent Fund and would like to thank everyone who took part or donated. We owe it to our veteran and their families.”

Reflecting on an extraordinary weekend, Major General Tim Hyams CB OBE, Chief Executive of the Army Benevolent Fund, commented: “The Cateran Yomp forms a significant element of the Charity’s annual fundraising efforts, and this year has seen a record number of participants cross the start line. I am extremely grateful to every single yomper; all of whom have demonstrated exceptional mental and physical resilience, and an evident sense of teamwork.  In so doing, they have made a tangible difference to our ability, as the Army’s national charity, to be there for soldiers, for life.”

Supported by headline sponsor Babcock International Group, this year’s event was also sponsored by Arnold Clark and Castle Water. The Cateran Yomp also works with a range of local sponsors who donate gifts in kind for the event, including Gin Bothy.

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