A GROUP of trekkers who tackled one of the seven wonders of the world have raised tens of thousands of pounds for the county's life-saving charity.

The 23-man team spent five days walking 36 kilometres of the Great Wall of China to fundraise for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance.

As well as seeing the wall for themselves, the group were also able to help with repairs to the brickwork and experience the Chinese culture.

The fundraising effort has seen the group raise £46,000 for the air ambulance, which says the money will help to fund 21 potentially life-saving missions.

Critical care paramedic Tony Stone was part of the walking group in China and described the experience as a "brilliant opportunity".

He added: "It really was a privilege to go with the group and to spend time talking about what the charity does and let them know how the money they have raised will be spent.

"The Great Wall is incredibly impressive, vast and simply amazing. I remember getting onto it at the start of the first day and the views were just phenomenal.

"The group bonded really well and some strong friendships were made during the week, which was brilliant. On the last day we all finished together, which was a really special moment.”

The challenge was approved and supported by the air ambulance, which plans to organise a similar trek across part of the Sahara desert next year.

Fundraising manager Sabi Stafford said: "We were delighted to be able to offer supporters the chance to see this iconic landmark first-hand while raising money for their local life-saving charity.

"Those who took part have made new friends, collected memories that will last a lifetime and have the satisfaction of helping an amazing cause.

"Next year we will be organising a very different but equally special."

The trek will take place between November 5 and 10, 2020.

An information evening will be held at the North Weald airbase on Wednesday (Nov 13).

Contact 0345 5040 055 or visit ehaat.org/trek.