PLUCKY pupils from a Great Witley school braved a gruelling 50 kilometre river journey as part of an ambitious charity challenge.

Nineteen children from Abberley Hall School came up against atrocious weather during their two-day canoe and camping trip on the River Severn But they kept going - and raised £8,800 - almost three times their target.

The youngsters, aged between 10 and 13, collected the money as part of the K12 Challenge, which aims to donate £100,000 towards a new, state of the art indoor arena in Shropshire for the Riding for the Disabled Association.

Abberley Hall headmaster Will Lockett said it was the pupils’ idea to undertake the adventure and they planned the route from Attingham, near Shrewsbury, to Bewdley.

"The K12 Challenge is aiming to get 100 children, groups of children, schools or clubs from throughout the region to raise £1,000 each by taking on sponsored sporting events," he said.

“The intention is to inspire young people to make a difference by being active and to give them an insight to the lives of other children who face daily challenges with their disabilities.

“They braved torrential rain all day to navigate the Severn in Canadian style canoes, even taking on some serious rapids near Ironbridge."

Mr Lockett added that the children had displayed "incredible determination" and impressed supporters and sponsors with their cheerfulness despite the appalling weather.

He said: “Abberley pupils are rising brilliantly to the K12 challenge by coming up with lots of ways to take part - competing in a triathlon, a mud run, an extreme bike ride, mountain climbing and an outdoor swim and the canoe trip was the latest.

"They are getting a great deal of pleasure and sense of achievement by being part of this initiative.”