A FORMER sapper with the Royal Engineers visited Tavistock last Friday, during the most recent leg of a fundraising marathon for Help for Heroes.

Doug Hamilton-Cox, 68, who lives at Bridford on the eastern side of Dartmoor, started a 25,000 mile sponsored walk in February this year, taking in the footpaths of all of the United Kingdom's canal network. The challenge is likely to take him some three years to complete.

After completing walks on the Exeter and Taunton and Bridgwater Canals, Doug continued walking the Birmingham canals. In April he started on the Welsh canal network and in May and early June, he walked the Celedonian, Forth and Clyde, Union and Crinan Canals in Scotland.

Last week, Doug started his walk along Tavistock Canal — he was later met in Tavistock by Cllr Anne Johnson, mayor of Tavistock, Cllr Ashley Tossell and Alan Wroath, president of Tavistock Lions Club.

Fundraiser Doug has already raised almost £50,000 for Help for Heroes, firstly by walking from Bridford to Wootton Bassett in 2009, and from Devon to Selly Oak Hospital the following year. Selly Oak is the first port of call for the most severely wounded servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan.

For more information about Doug's incredible fundraising efforts, go to http://www.dougwalking.co.uk">www.dougwalking.co.uk