AN ANIMAL rights campaigner is set to embark on the toughest fundraising challenge of his life in an effort to help the plight of bears in the Far East.

Leon Moore, 30, of Marlowe Avenue, Park North, will start a gruelling eight-day cycle from John O'Groats to Lands End on Monday and hopes to raise as much cash as possible for the charity Asia Bears.

Leon, a doorman for a nightclub in Bristol, said: "The route I'm cycling is about 950 miles in total and I plan to do it in eight days.

"The charity is raising money for the Moon Bears, which are bears that are kept on farms in Asia.

"The bears are caged up in crush cages so they cannot move and they are kept in those cages for their whole lives.

"They have 18-inch tubes put in their stomachs, which extract their bile to be used in medicines. I read about the bears and I was so appalled I had to do something about it."

Leon has previously raised money to stamp out cruelty to monkeys, but his latest fundraising idea is by far the most gruelling both physically and personally.

"I've done fundraising for whole days, but never anything this big," he said.

"I don't normally cycle, but I've been out on the bike for the last seven months every day.

"I basically do between two and four hours training a day on the push bike and I think I underestimated how hard it was going to be.

"I didn't realise how much it was going to take out of me, but it has also put a big strain on my relationship.

"I've literally been coming home from work, going straight out on the bike and then going to bed at about 7pm every night because I'm so knackered."

But Leon's partner, 36-year-old Sarah Powell, has proved to be a tower of strength to him.

"Sarah is going to drive a van, which has been donated by Stuart Boyer of M4 Self Drive, while I complete the bike ride just to make sure I'm safe and sound," Leon said.

"I'll be doing something like 100 miles a day, but I'm sure it will be worth it once I've finished."

If you would like to sponsor Leon you can do so by logging onto his website or call 07989 607770.