A COALSNAUGHTON man has begun a gruelling trek along the Scottish National Trail after battling back from a major stroke years ago.

Douglas Sewell survived the episode nine years ago and has since kickstarted his life with a number of fitness challenges and fundraising campaigns.

And now Douglas, who grew up in Coalsnaughton before moving to Inverness, where he stays now, is in the early stages of a mindboggling 536-mile trek along the Scottish trail.

He will take around seven weeks to complete the challenge and plans on updating his blog to keep everyone up to date with what he is doing and where he has got to.

Douglas has called his latest challenge A Wee Cycle and a bit of a Walk, as he prepared the trek with a 106km cycle along the Etape Loch Ness last week.

With the man himself otherwise engaged, his mum Lily explained the lengths her son was going to – with the help of other family members.

She said: "Just one week after successfully completing the Inverness Etape, Douglas began an epic 866 mile walk from the south to the north of Scotland. His identical twin brother will also be walking a large part of the walk.

"There will be wild camping involved, campsite camping and rest days fitted in. Family, friends and survivors of stroke and heart problems will also be participating.

"This can and will save lives, encourage people to volunteer and also assist families, friends and volunteers who are caring for and assisting survivors through rehabilitation towards living a quality of life they never thought they would have again."

Starting at Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, the trail goes all the way through Scotland and ends at the Pennine Way.

The trail has a huge 16,525m of ascent which Douglas will tackle over a seven week period.

Douglas, who attended then taught at Alva Academy, has already raised a fantastic £900 out of his £1,000 target which he is raising for Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.

To follow his journey, visit his blog page which he intends to keep updated at douglassewellwalks.wordpress.com/ or to donate to his cause visit justgiving.com/fundraising/douglas-sewellchss