People are being invited to put their map reading, endurance and teamwork skills to the test in support of North Devon’s two hospice charities.

The Muddy Boots from Pilton. Picture: Tony GussinThe Muddy Boots from Pilton. Picture: Tony Gussin

North Devon Hospice and Children's Hospice South West support hundreds of local families facing the most unimaginable challenges every day - and on Saturday, March 7, people can give something back by taking on what's being billed as Exmoor's ultimate night-time orienteering challenge.

Places for Ilfracombe Rotary Club's 27th annual StarTrek are filling up fast, with more than 20 teams already signed up to take part.

Event co-ordinator Paul Williams said hundreds of people had taken on the challenge over the years, raising more than £900,000 for the adult and children's hospices, as well as other local good causes.

He said: "We're incredibly lucky to have both Exmoor and these two wonderful charities on our doorstep.

StarTrek 2018. Picture: Stephen HancockStarTrek 2018. Picture: Stephen Hancock

"And this is the perfect opportunity to get out there and explore Exmoor, while raising money for two excellent causes that do so much for families in North Devon."

Teams of between four and six walkers will set off from base camp and navigate their way across the moor via torchlight on either an eight- or 16-mile course carefully designed by organisers.

Base camp location and the routes are a closely guarded secret until nearer the time, but the event is fully marshalled, with checkpoints, St John Ambulance and search and rescue cover.

Base camp is run like a well-oiled machine, with volunteers from the charities and Rotary on hand to provide walkers with hot food and drinks at the start and throughout the night.

StarTrek 2018. Picture: Stephen HancockStarTrek 2018. Picture: Stephen Hancock

It is about taking part, but winners are judged on the time taken and answers given to the answers given to the clues scattered along the route. There is also recognition for the teams that raise the most sponsorship.

Paul added: "StarTrek really is Exmoor's ultimate challenge; the exhilaration you will experience on completing it will stay with you for all time.

"Places are still available for this year's event but I would urge teams to register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment and ensure they have enough time to raise sponsorship money."

To find out more about the event or register a team visit www.rotary-startrek.org.uk .