A sponsored walk with a difference organised by Melksham Rotary Club will take place in April along 19 separate sections of the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The idea was the brainchild of the club’s president elect Arnold Snowball, who said the 86-mile canal will be split into different three to five-mile sections with rotary clubs and members of the public from all the areas it runs through taking part in their own communities.

Mr Snowball, who is retired and lives in Atworth, said he had done something similar when living in Carlisle in 2004 when his rotary club split Hadrian’s Wall into 17 sections and took on different parts in a sponsored walk to raise cash for their local hospice.

He said: “Everyone will begin the walk at the same time, at 10am on April 25, but they will all be starting in their own sections of the canal so they will all be simutaneously taking part in areas from Reading to Bristol.

“People can take it as a nice Sunday morning walk with their families and I have found 37 pubs along the canal so far and I have got a very helpful brochure from the Canal Trust showing all the place to sit and rest along the length.”

Mr Snowball said he and his rotary club in Carlisle raised £8,000 for the local hospice and he has high hopes of setting a bigger target for this walk as the money will be split three ways.

A third of the cash will go to the Canal Trust, a third to Help for Heroes and a third will be split between three hospices along the canal route.

These include Dorothy House in Winsley, the Prospect Hospice in Swindon and the Duchess of Kent hospice in Reading.

Mr Snowball said the club would also look at people’s postcodes from their sponsorship forms and give part of the money they raise to the hospice closest to where they live.

At present up to 30 rotary clubs are looking at taking part, but members of the public are more than welcome to email Mr Snowball for more information and sponsorship forms.

The Melksham section of the canal will stretch from Semington Road Bridge to the Barge Inn in Bradford on Avon over five miles.

Due to back problems, Mr Snowball said he will be helping the event run smoothly, but wife Helen and her sister Elisabeth will both be taking part.

Mr Snowball said: “It just so happens that my wife’s sister is over visiting us from Australia that weekend and she is a keen walker so she will be well sponsored.”

Anyone wanting more details can email j.a.snowball@homecall.co.uk