CHARITY fund-raiser Brian Burnie last night reached a huge milestone in his ambitious aims to walk around the British Isles.

The founder of Daft as a Brush cancer transport charity crossed the border back into England after walking 2,500 miles around the Scottish coastline to kick-start the 7,000 mile challenge.

Mr Burnie (74), who has been accompanied by his wife Cheryl, who he married in Skye in July during the challenge, has taken on the challenge to promote the concept of free transport for people undergoing cancer treatment. The charity provides free transport to Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospital for 40,000 cancer patients each year.

And Mr Burnie is hoping that by rolling out similar schemes to communities throughout the British Isles, a total of 1m people can be helped each year.

He said: "It was a fantastic milestone for somebody of my age crossing the border into England, and it was quite exhilirating. I'm delighted to have completed 2,500 - only 4,500 to go.

"Scotland is an absolutely stunning country and I've visited places I never knew even existed, never mind haven't visited before.

"We want to take what we are doing in the North-East all over Great Britain and Ireland because there is a great demand for transferring cancer patients to and from hospital.

"People tell us that chemotherapy and radiotherapy are of course challenging, but actually getting to and from hospital is the worst part of treatment so our dream is to make that part easier."