Morale is still high despite a few sore feet as walkers reached the half-way point of the South Downs Way.

The epic 100-mile, six-day walk started in Winchester on Tuesday and finishes on Sunday at Beachy Head.

It’s in aid of The Argus Appeal, chaired by Argus editor Michael Beard, who is walking every day of the Downs trek.

Speaking yesterday after walking from Cocking to Washington hike he said: “It’s been quite a tough day, surprisingly hard.

Boosting morale

“It’s amazing because with all the rainfall we’ve had you would think the ground would be quite soft but it’s rock-hard and very unforgiving.

“My feet are a bit of a mess so I’m looking forward to a soak in the bath.

“The weather was perfect, not too hot, with a breeze to cool us down. The scenery was as beautiful as ever with the wheat fields swaying in the wind.

“We had gliders and Chinooks flying above us.”

Mr Beard was joined by ten walkers – including four ladies from Southern Water who kept morale high.

Jo Fielding-Cooke, Jacki Mant, Brenda Edwards and Juliette Hughes work together in the metering department and were described as the “stars of the show”.

Jo said: “We had a really good laugh, lots of giggling. We did have an incident with some cows standing in our way, which was rather entertaining, but we managed to get past without any drama.

“The hills are pretty interesting, some are pretty steep and we definitely enjoyed going down more than going up.

“It was quite a relief to get on the tarmac at the end. We’re looking forward to an evening on the sofa.

“We’ve all said how we’ll forget how much our feet hurt and do it next year.”

Today around 20 walkers, including a team from the social housing repair company Mears, will make their way to Ditchling, with stops at Alfriston on Saturday before finishing at Beachy Head on Sunday.

The Argus Appeal supports the relief of sickness, poverty and hardship and provides benefits for the lonely, needy, elderly and underprivileged, plus children and others considered appropriate by the trustees in the Sussex area.

To support Michael for the Argus Appeal go to

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