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(Updated 28/02/01)

Blue Cross Tackle Tuscany trail

ANIMAL LOVERS are being invited to join BBC Vets in Practice star Joe Inglis on an Italian trek being organised by the Blue Cross animal welfare charity for this September.

Joe Inglis and former Blue Peter presenter Valerie Singleton have both agreed to take part in The Tuscany Trail, the first ever trip abroad organised by the Blue Cross, which will raise the much-needed funds to take care of the thousands of unwanted pets that the charity takes in every year.

Joe Inglis said: “I am hoping along with other animal lovers to take part in the Blue Cross Tuscany Trail later this year. Like many charities the Blue Cross relies entirely on the generosity of its supporters and I think this trek is an excellent way of raising money for a very good cause - I look forward to donning my hiking boots this September and walking for the animals”.

And other animal-loving celebrities such as EastEnders’ Pam St Clement, comedian Faith Brown, Ronnie Corbett, Frank Bruno and Annette Crosbie are supporting the Blue Cross charity walk.

Annette Crosbie said: “I wish I could sign up for this. It’s my favourite region in my favourite country and for such a deserving cause”.

The Blue Cross would now like to hear from anyone who would like to join Valerie Singleton and TV vet Joe Inglis on The Tuscany Trail which runs from 15th to 22nd September.

Inspired by the patron saint of animals, St Francis of Assisi, The Tuscany Trail will take trekkers on a breathtaking journey through the Tuscan and Umbrian regions of Italy. Walking around six to seven hours each day the party will be taken through beautiful countryside of vineyards and olive groves until they finally reach Assisi, the birthplace of St Francis.

Each walker will need to register with a deposit of £200 and then raise a minimum of £1,750 in sponsorship. A total of eight days will be spent away, including travel and preparation.

At over 100 years old, the Blue Cross is one of Britain’s oldest animal welfare charities. It rehomes 7,500 unwanted and rescued animals each year and provides veterinary care for the pets of people who cannot afford private veterinary fees.

For more information about The Tuscany Trail telephone: 01993-825502 or E-mail: