Charles Jardine, the founder and director of the Fishing for Schools initiative, undertakes his greatest challenge yet, on 7th/8th April – the #WessexWaterChallenge. This 24-hour event will see 65-year-old Charles fish at three Wessex Water Reservoirs and run the 60 miles between them, all in the space of a day. You can sponsor him here

There are just over two weeks to go to the #WessexWaterChallenge and I’m really quite nervous yet excited at the same time.

I also have new spring in my step as my friend and fellow Downton runner Richard Davis has agreed to join me for the 24hr challenge. Richard is a real runner who specialises in ultras, or distance running.  This is a fantastic and magnanimous gesture on his part, not to mention a great comfort to have someone with me… especially someone who knows how to run! Having company will make a significant difference. Sadly he does not fish, so can’t help me in that department. Wouldn’t it be nice if he could run and me fish? … but no, that would be wrong, I have to suffer!

Another thing that’s making a big difference is the support of my fishing friends. Particularly people like John Proctor who has said he will be with me for the challenge, even though he has been really poorly and uses a wheelchair. You can’t ask for better support than that!

I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to look at my JustGiving page – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wessexwaterchallenge – but it now registers £2,936, which, with a very generous donation of £2,000 from a great friend, brings my total to nearly £5,000. This means I’m well on my way to the £9k target I have set myself.

I also want to say a big thank you to Threeways School and the F4S South West team who have raised nearly £400 more for the cause and hope to increase that to £500 with a cake bake next month. Fabulous stuff!

Richard and I have two big runs (20 miles plus) planned for this week and we hope to be able to do those in the New Forest – depending on the conditions. We still have a lot of snow around and although I’m really motivated to get out there it’s quite dangerous. If you slip on the ice and are miles from anywhere you are in big trouble.

Apart from that, it’s core strengthening work in the gym for me. I have a new instructor and she is very dynamic – there has been a lot of very tough abdominal work!

Then it’s the London Fly Fair this coming Friday and Saturday and I’m going to try to get as much promotion for the #WessexWaterChallenge as I can. Marina Gibson, James Stockoe and Samantha Beckwith will be taking my amazing green collecting buckets around the show at appropriate intervals. So if you see them please dig deep – it’s in a very good cause!

I shall also be doing fly fishing demos, giving a talk on chalk stream with my son Alex and on Saturday the 19th Lambeth Scouts from Clapham will be coming along to the show to learn to tie a fly and cast.

If you are at the show and want to learn more about Fishing for Schools or the #WessexWaterChallenge please just come and find me.

Yours aye, Charles