FUNDRAISERS were joined by a furry friend as they raced around an ice rink yesterday.

More than 100 people graced the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink in Brighton for the first time as it prepared to open for its tenth year.

But there was no time for the speedy skaters to ease into their first glide on the ice as they were taking part in a “skate-a-thon”.

They were tasked with completing hundreds of 100 metre circuits around the rink.

They were joined by a badger mascot as they skated as individuals or as relay teams to travel 5,000 metres in the mini skate-a-thon or 15,000 metres in the full skate-a-thon.

The mad dash was all for a good cause, as the sponsored speedsters raised money to support the work of Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Sussex Flow project.

This helps plant thousands of trees in and around Sussex near floodplains, slowing the flow of water and reducing the chance of flooding in communities downstream.

By doing this the group “creates new habitats in Sussex, helping wildlife like dragonflies and bats and building resilience to climate change”.

Shella Parkin, chief executive of Laine Ltd, which creates and operates the ice rink, said: “We already use clean energy to power the rink, exclusively solar and wind energy, but this year we are increasing our efforts to protect the environment by supporting Sussex Wildlife Trust and delivering the highest possible performance in terms of energy efficiency and minimising carbon emissions.

“Its been a great day and we want to thank everyone for participating and helping us raise funds for a wonderful cause.”

The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink opens to all today and will remain until January 19.

Skaters can book an hour-long session between 10am and 10.15pm – the box office is open between 9.30am and 9.45pm. It will be closed until 12.30pm on Remembrance Sunday.

For youngsters who are new to the ice there will be penguin skate aids available.

Tickets are £28 for those aged 12 and above, or a family ticket is £39.

This will allow two people age 12 and above and two under 12s, or one person aged 12 and above and three under 12s to skate.

For those looking for a more relaxed visit there is a rinkside bar and kitchen offering mulled wine and hot drinks, lunch and dinner.