A group of Aberdeenshire school pupils will trek 260 miles across Scotland in an effort to raise thousands of pounds for a local cause.
The team from Banchory Academy will walk, bike and canoe from the west coast of the Isle of Mull to Aberdeen beach in aid of north-east children’s charity, Charlie House.
Sixteen second and third year pupils camped out at Clachandhu beach last night before setting off on the Across Scotland adventure this morning.
The route will combine road and trail cycles and encompass the Great Glen Way, Ben More and the Corrieyairack Pass.
The trekkers will also face a 10-mile canoe journey from Laggan Lochs, near Fort William, to Fort Augustus.
They aim to complete the journey on May 23 after a further burst of paddling on the River Dee between Drumoak and Aberdeen.
The pupils’ cause – Charlie House – supports children with severe disabilities and life-limiting and chronic conditions by offering them the chance to enjoy new activities and make new friends.
The charity is hoping to set up a specialist centre to provide day, emergency and end-of-life care as well as hydrotherapy pool sessions.
Since 2009, Banchory Academy has raised a total of £76,000 for charities including the Archie Foundation, Clan Cancer Support, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and Horseback UK through the Across Scotland challenge.
Deputy rector Colin Nicoll said: “There has been a tremendous amount of planning by staff and pupils and we’re looking forward to getting started.
“From fitness tests and equipment checks, we are as well prepared as we can be and there is a great deal of excitement as we prepare to depart.
“It is a test of endurance but also a valuable team building exercise. Working together is vital and it is incredibly rewarding to see the way everyone rallies together to get to the finish line.
“It is something the pupils will never forget and for the teachers it is a privilege to be part of the adventure.”
Charlie House chairwoman Tracy Johnstone said: “We are always humbled by the support we receive and I can’t thank Banchory Academy enough for nominating us to benefit from this year’s Across Scotland Challenge.”