AN INTREPID hiker is to walk the length of the River Thames to raise money to a new cancer centre.

David Linghorn-Baker will start his epic adventure at the source of the Thames – an oak tree in the village of Kemble in Gloucestershire – and will walk the 184 miles to the Thames barrier.

He is aiming to complete the feat in less than seven days meaning he will have to complete at least a marathon of 26.2 miles each day.

During the trek, he will carry all his equipment including his tent and food.

Mr Linghorn-Baker is taking on the challenge to raise money for the Cancer Centre Campaign to build a new centre at Colchester General Hospital so all cancer services can be brought together.

Mr Linghorn-Baker, who is 35, is a lead governor with Colchester Hospital University NHS Trust and the clinical director for a not-for-profit ambulance service.

He said: “I love the NHS and passionately support the staff, volunteers and supporters of Colchester Hospital’s radiotherapy centre so to raise vital funds I’m going to endure a lot of pain, exhaustion and blisters.”

Mr Linghorn-Baker has also been inspired to take on the challenge by his late father, David Goddard.

He said: “My father had leukaemia and had some cancer treatment at Colchester General Hospital.

“However, he had to travel to St Barts Hospital in London on a daily basis which was quite gruelling.

“A year after he died, the radiotherapy centre at Colchester was completed.

“It is a cause dear to me for Colchester to become a leading cancer centre.

"The new centre will house a new chemotherapy department and clinical haematology suite and bring all cancer-related services into one location adjoining the new radiotherapy centre."

Mr Linghorn-Baker, who will set off at the end of August, said he is looking forward to his adventure.

“I am not a runner but I want to do an ultra marathon-style challenge.

“There will be no staying in hotels. I will be camping in fields and eating only what I can cook on my gas stove.

“I am going for a non-stop 12-hour stint each day and hope to cover at least 26 miles each day.

“I am planning to do quite a bit of walking at night but I will have a GPS watch so hopefully I won’t get lost.”

To support the £4.5 million appeal for a new cancer centre, which is backed by the Gazette, go to

To sponsor Mr Linghorn-Baker, go to