Survival expert Ray Mears sets off to rescue the memory of “forgotten” Welsh explorer Dafydd ap Thomas (aka David Thompson) in episode five of a new six-part series that airs in October.


Sep 28 2009 by Katie Norman, Western Mail
 
SURVIVAL expert Ray Mears will attempt to rescue the memory of a “forgotten” explorer from the backwaters of Welsh history in a new documentary.
 
The broadcaster, renowned for his knowledge of wilderness skills, has chosen to celebrate heroic Victorian land surveyor David Thompson as part of his Northern Wilderness series.
 
Thompson, responsible for mapping a third of Canada in the 1800s, continues to attract a recognition throughout North America not afforded in his homeland.
 
The programme is the latest effort by Mears to acknowledge the achievements of one of his heroes, considered one of the greatest land geographers that ever lived.
 
BBC producer Julia Foot, who worked with Mears on the series, said: “David Thompson was so thorough in his work that his maps were used for the following 100 years.
 
“He was a real humanist in his approach and he was also very in tune with nature. He kept detailed writings and drawings, which really give an insight into the people he met. He was really ahead of his time.”
 
Thompson was born Dafydd ap Thomas in 1770. ...