A BRADFORD on Avon man is to walk more than 700 miles – some of it barefoot - in memory of his late wife to raise money for the international horse charity Brooke.

Mike Weltike, 62, will walk 70 miles to Poole in Dorset to join the South West Coastal Path, and then 630 miles from there to Minehead in memory of his wife, Rosalind Pearce, 66, who passed away last December.

The self-employed stonemason, of Wine Street Terrace, Bradford on Avon, will be joined on the first few miles of his 100-day trek by his next-door neighbour Paula Tucker and her wire-haired terrier Frybe.

Mike said: “My main reason for doing the walk is in memory of my wife, Rosalind, who died from cervical cancer last December aged 66.

“Ros and I were married for 30 years and she came from Minehead. Ros was a huge animal lover, and Brooke was a charity particularly close to her heart, for their amazing work with working horses and donkeys.

“There is no schedule and I will be stopping each day wherever my eight-year-old Parson Jack Russell Woody and I find ourselves.

“We will take in many of the special places she loved in her life - such as Cornwall's gorgeous Minack theatre, and Exmoor, where she loved to walk and spend time with family.

“It will come to an end in Minehead, in a home that has been part of the family for many years, and where we spent happy times together at the end of her life.”

Mike will be carrying a 10kg rucksack packed with his clothes, tent, sleeping bag and cooking stove.

“I am very fit and confident that I can handle the 700 mile trek. I am planning to do some wild camping and barefoot rambling along the way, mainly in fields and on beaches.

“Woody and I are hoping to manage around seven miles a day and hope to find some amazing places in which to stop.

“We will be meeting up with friends and family along the way, who will walk with us for a while. We have friends in Swanage, Lulworth, Lyme Regis, Exeter and in Cornwall.”

Mike plans to avoid main roads on his way to Poole via Warminster and Salisbury, and is taking an Ordnance Survey map with him to locate byways, bridlepaths and quiet country lanes.

Brooke is an international charity that relies for financial support on the generosity of donors and volunteer fundraisers.

Operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, it employs 900 people and reaches over two million working horses, donkeys and mules – more than any other organisation.

Mr Weltike is hoping to raise more than £1,000 to help Brooke continue its work. To donate, please go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-weltike