Valley pair take on 72-mile charity challenge

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Two Ribble Valley men are putting their best foot forward and walking 72 miles non-stop with a goal of raising £4,000 for two good causes.

Jack Spees, Director of the Ribble Rivers Trust and Mark Rudd, Fisheries Officer for the Environment Agency, are taking on the Ribble Way Challenge – walking from the estuary at Preston to the source of the River Ribble in the Yorkshire Dales.

Jack Spees and Mark Rudd

Jack Spees and Mark Rudd

The walk will begin at the Dolphin Inn at Longton early in the morning of Friday, August 1st, and continue throughout the night, reaching the finish line on Gayle Moor early on Saturday morning.

The pair are currently in training for the demanding challenge, fitting in long weekend hikes and night time treks around their full time jobs.

Jack has taken on a similar task in the past, completing the 100km Oxfam Trailtrekker. He said: “I have no doubt that it’s going to be tough. The Ribble Way is 15km longer than the Oxfam walk I did a few years ago, but the opportunity to raise money for two very good causes means our efforts will be worthwhile.”

A fund-raising target of £4,000 has been set and the money will be split equally between the Ribble Rivers Trust and WaterAid. “There are similarities between the two charities” Mark said. “Both strive to provide clean water for people, one on a global scale and the other at a very local level.”

A £15 donation to WaterAid can enable one person to access a lasting supply of safe water, improved hygiene and sanitation, while for the Ribble Trust, £15 improves 10 metres of river by planting trees and erecting fences to reduce pollution, erosion and flooding, as well as combatting the effects of climate change.

To sponsor the plucky pair and help them reach their fundraising target, text RWAY26 £15 (or whatever amount you wish to donate) to 70070 or sponsor them online at