VILLAGERS in north Hampshire delivered a late Christmas present for a Basingstoke charity by clocking up the miles and pounds at an annual fundraising event.

A total of 280 walkers from Highclere, Woolton Hill and surrounding villages met up at The Highclere Red House for their 34th Annual Charity Christmas Walk, this year in aid of Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

The walk, organised by members of the Los Jubilados luncheon group and their helpers in conjunction with the East Woodhay Society and Highclere Society, followed a route around the footpaths and country roads of Highclere and Hollington.

Halfway around the three-mile walk, the walkers stopped at the home of Andrew and Lisa Watson where mince pies, donated by Charles Mills, of Budgens Mortimer and Budgens Wash Common, together with mulled wine, were served.

John Angle, one of the charity walk organisers, said: "It was a great walk. It was so good to see so many families, with young children and dogs, joining the walk, while at the same time raising money for a very worthwhile charity. A big thank-you to all those who took part, and who gave so generously."

The donations from all involved meant that more than £900 was collected for the charity, which is raising £5million towards a new cancer treatment centre that will be built at Basingstoke hospital by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT).

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: "Thank you to everyone who took part in this seasonal fundraising event, and Ark is very grateful to be the chosen charity for the 2018 event. The support of all involved is very much appreciated."