A young environmental fundraiser from Tayside was shocked after receiving a letter from David Attenborough hailing his “impressive” efforts.
Charlie Watts, 8, had walked 30 miles last month with his father Adam, from Carnoustie to St Andrews, raising £2,200 – so far – for the Marine Conservation Society.
The youngster from Auchterhouse in Angus completed the walk on August 25 on what would have been his mother Eileen’s 53rd birthday. She died six years ago from cancer.
Last year, he walked for 10 hours back and forwards over the Tay Road Bridge in aid of Roxburgh House, whose staff looked after her in her final days.
Charlie’s grandmother Anita, 82, had secretly mailed a letter to Sir David’s fan club in Surrey, explaining what he had done.
She also explained the significance of the date.
Adam said the signed letter which arrived was “completely out of the blue”.
He said: “Charlie came running through on Saturday morning shouting ‘Dad! Dad! Look what I’ve got!’ He could not believe it.
“It took me a minute to take it in too. It’s a real prize possession. My mum did this totally on her own.
“She’s used to doing these kind of things with stars in the 1950s and 1960s. She’s got a whole collection of signed photos.
“We’ll be putting it together with pictures we took and other memories from the walk.”
Charlie was inspired to take action after watching hit BBC documentary series Blue Planet, narrated by the British TV star.
Blue Planet II was watched by more than three quarters of a billion people worldwide and helped shine a light on the state of the world’s oceans and the damaging effects of plastic pollution.
Natural historian Sir David is widely considered a British national treasure and has been hailed as “the greatest broadcaster of our time.”
The letter reads: “Dear Charlie, Your grandmother tells me that you were inspired by the Blue Planet series to do something to help protect our oceans.
“Congratulations on your successful walk to raise money — it is an impressive achievement.”
Adam added: “David Attenborough is really doing a lot to spread the word on climate change and the impact of waste in our oceans.
“He is an idol to a lot of the younger generation which can only be a good thing. Charlie knows all about him.
“It was like he had received something from a famous film star, he was that chuffed. A lot of parents I know have said their children are so jealous of him.
“It would be something else if he was to ever meet him. Who knows what could happen.”