GUIDE DOG supporters are being asked to take part in one of three new sponsored walks this year.

The charity’s Otley and Aireborough Fundraising Branch has announced details of its Over the Hills 3 Tier Challenge 2019.

The event is the brainchild of Yeadon resident Kevin Beesting and will consist of three walks of different lengths that will be held over two days in June.

On Saturday, June 8 participants can take on either a 12 mile trek, from Yeadon to Ilkley, or a tougher 25 mile walk from Yeadon to Skipton.

There is also the option of embarking on a 13 mile walk, from Ilkley to Skipton, on Sunday, June 9.

The 3 Tier Challenge is the latest in a series of energetic fundraising events to have been organised by Mr Beesting, who is blind and a guide dog owner.

The 67 year old grandfather is no stranger to tough tasks himself and in 2017 took on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge for Guide Dogs.

Mr Beesting will be joined by his guide dog, Spencer, when he sets off on one of the 3 Tier walks in June.

He said: “Before going blind I was a keen runner, getting up to run at 5am before going in to work. We don’t always appreciate what we see around us.

I was guilty of this before losing my sight, but now can recognise the beauty of what’s under my feet and all around me as soon as we hit the open country.

“Being blind can mean a huge loss of freedom and independence, but I am determined to stay fit and having Spencer alongside helps me to get out and about without relying on other people.

“He walks and guides me round our local footpaths for miles every day.

“My motivation for tackling the Over the Hills challenge is to raise money to help pay for the training of a guide dog so that someone else can enjoy this same freedom.”

Before losing his sight Mr Beesting ran his own business, employing 50 people, and ran marathons. That had to stop when he lost his vision but getting Spencer has enabled him to get out and about independently again and he has been involved in several active fundraisers.

In 2017 he embarked on ascents of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough to raise money to thank Guide Dogs for providing Spencer. He was guided on the climbs by his sons, Matthew and Adam.

Last year Mr Beesting celebrated raising £5,000 for the charity by meeting a puppy that he named, through the Name a Puppy scheme, after his late father Lawrence. To sponsor him or to find out more about joining Over the Hills send an e-mail to .