A HEREFORDSHIRE pensioner has completed a mammoth 1,000 mile walking challenge to raise money for the RNLI.

John Batley, of Much Marcle, Herefordshire, set himself the challenge in January as he approached his 80th birthday.

Having set himself a target of £2,500, he is now just over £200 away from reaching his goal.

Mr Batley has had a passion for the sea from at a young age, as his stepfather was in the Merchant Navy.

He has been a lifelong supporter of the RNLI and opted to support the charity close to his heart to help fundraising efforts recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by taking on the challenge.

“Even as I start to get on in age, I can feel both the physical and mental benefits of getting out nearly every day and would encourage everyone to get at least some kind of daily exercise outdoors,” he said.

“You don’t have to be as mad as me and take on this challenge but pushing yourself, even a little, is good for you, regardless of age or ability.”

Nick Evans, RNLI Fundraising Lead for Wales and the West, congratulated Mr Batley on his fundraising efforts.

He said: “I take my hat off John and feel privileged to have supported him on this journey. He’s a genuine inspiration and to marry his love of walking with his passion for the RNLI is a unique and exciting way to raise funds.

“John is fairly far removed from the sea where he is and we’re always hugely grateful to our supporters inland.”