A GROUP of scouts took part in a lengthy overnight hike last month to raise enough money to make campsite costs more affordable for the scouts' families.

All of the 19th Swindon scouts and their leaders set off on a 14-hour hike over a weekend in July, starting at Coate Water at 7.50pm on Friday July 7, going on a long round trip through Barbury, Royal Wootton Bassett and Lydiard St Millicent, then returning to their starting point at 10.10am on Saturday July 8.

Five of the scouts failed to finish but nine made it all the way to the end with five adult supervisors.

The final total is still being totted up but it's expected to be more than £300.

Alan Finnigan, Scout leader for 19th Swindon, was exhausted but happy with his group's efforts.

He said: "It was very tiring and hard but it was a bit of an adventure, a real challenge for everyone.

"I'm very proud of these kids because they've never done anything like this before and I think a lot of adults would struggle to do it.

"Everyone had a sense of achievement and I think it's something that will stay with the kids forever."

The scout group had done the trek once before in the early 2000's, when it was known as the Millennium Walk, but their task was a bit tougher this time around as parts of the path had become overgrown and unkempt.

Alan added: "A couple of the younger ones wanted to go home after eight miles and a couple more left at the half-way point but we gritted our teeth and made it to the end.

"I had the hard job of keeping spirits up and making sure we knew where we were going when it was pitch black.

"Luckily, we were blessed with good weather and the parents gave us a little cheer when we finished."

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