INTREPID schoolboy Jake Hickman wanted to do his bit for wildlife in the county so he not only rafted down the River Avon to the sea he built his own craft as well.

Jake, 10, was joined on his adventure by his dad Alex, who is no stranger to fundraising exploits himself, and he was proud of his son's achievement.

They are raising money for restoration work on the River Avon between their home in Wilsford and Marden, near Devizes.

Jake said: "Three months ago my dad and I attended a meeting in Marden village hall organised by Wiltshire Wildlife Trust where they told us about a project on the river at Wilsford to increase the wildlife in our river.

"The people from the trust hope that by improving the conditions of the river otters and possibly even salmon may reach the stretch of river between Marden and Charlton-St-Peter.

"After hearing about this exciting project I decided I wanted to raise some money for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust."

Jake and his dad came up with the idea of building a raft out of oil drums and some rope and then tried it out on a stretch of water at Figheldean. As it floated they decided to carry on with their endeavour and set off from Christchurch in Dorset

Jake said: "At Christchurch Sailing Club the Avon merged with the Stour and turned left and followed the current between banks of high reeds. The water here was really deep."

As they reached the estuary he was feeling tired but was inspired by the wildlife they saw and the desire to raise money for the charity.

He said: "I am raising money for Wiltshire Wildlife Trust because they have just started a project on the same river in our village and they hope by clearing it with all our village's help we may get salmon and otters back into it. I am going to be one of their helpers in the autumn."

In 2015 Mr Hickman and a friend walked 30 miles across Salisbury Plain to raise money to help Syrian refugees.

To support Jake and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust go to