A cancer survivor has walked thousands of steps to tick off all the turbines at an East Renfrewshire windfarm.

Michele Lennox, 55, set herself the challenge of walking to all 215 turbines at Whitelee Windfarm, on Eaglesham Moor, after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2020.

The East Renfrewshire mum underwent a full hysterectomy, which left her extremely weak and unwell, and she was unable to get around properly.

She began to walk during her recovery and, on New Year's Day 2021, had the idea to walk at Whitelee Windfarm.

Noticing the turbines were all numbered, she decided to walk to them all – and the Whitelee Windmill Baggers group was born.

Michele said the challenge of being a 'turbine bagger' kept her going throughout her cancer fight.

"I would never have thought that this challenge, for which I had to buy my first ever pair of walking boots, would be what helped give me the will to live," she added.

Barrhead News: Michele with her friend Iain MacMillanMichele with her friend Iain MacMillan (Image: PA Media)

"Cancer is a secret and silent disease and I had seen what having stomach cancer did to my dad, who died just three months after his diagnosis. That was all I could think about at the start and it took me two years to get out of that mindset.

"It was only after I had bagged all 215 turbines at Whitelee that I could actually convince myself that maybe I wasn't going to die."

Taking on the challenge was not quite as simple as it sounds, with 130 kilometres of tracks to cover.

Extensive planning and research was required to identify the best starting point.

Mother-of-one Michele and her friends braved all weathers to complete the challenge.

"Whitelee was the perfect place and really gave me the motivation, drive and determination to keep going and I'll be forever grateful for what it did for me, my recovery and my mental health," said Michele, from Giffnock.

"It was an absolutely brilliant experience and I couldn't have done it with a better group of people, who made it so fun and memorable.

Barrhead News: Michele set herself the challenge of walking to all 215 turbines at Whitelee WindfarmMichele set herself the challenge of walking to all 215 turbines at Whitelee Windfarm (Image: PA Media)

"That support at one of the most difficult times in my life was incredible and really brought everyone together. I wouldn't be where I am today – an avid walker with three pairs of walking boots – if it wasn't for my family, friends and Whitelee."

Michele's friend Iain MacMillan accompanied her on the challenge.

He said: "We motivated each other and worked as a team. On some days it was nightfall by the time we got back and I was worried whether Michele was physically capable of the task or was over-extending herself but she just kept going.

"On occasions, it was like four seasons in one day but the view was always inspirational and we kept the end in sight."

Whitelee Windfarm, one of the UK's largest, is operated by ScottishPower Renewables, which said it was "blown away" by Michele's achievement.

Spokesman Barry Carruthers added: "Whitelee is obviously a great source of homegrown green electricity but, as showcased by Michele's efforts, it's not just the UK's biggest onshore windfarm, it's a fantastic and much-loved outdoor location visited by around a quarter of a million people a year.

"This was definitely not a challenge for the faint-hearted and Michele is a real inspiration and an absolute legend.

"To hear what Whitelee meant to her and how it supported her recovery is just so humbling and we're blown away by what she has achieved and incredibly proud to play a part in her story."