THE Keswick to Barrow walk - which raises hundreds of thousands of pounds each year for charities - has been cancelled for 2020.

The annual fundraiser draws in more than 2,000 walkers as well as large crowds of cheering supporters along the 40-mile route.

One of the biggest events in the Cumbrian calendar, it usually happens each May but was delayed until September as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, following responses from walkers on whether they wish to take part this year, and the level of volunteer support that are confirmed, the organisers will be greatly reducing the scale of the walk.

Instead, organisers will be hosting a closed competition for the Resolution Cup between 2019’s winning shipyard team and a team from the Royal Navy on September 26.

Next year's event is scheduled for May 8.

Event organisers said: "We regret that this means the majority of walkers will not be able to join us this year but hope you will show your support for the walk, and the charities and good causes it supports.”

The walk started in 1967 and it has raised more than £3.75 million for good causes across Cumbria.

A list of charities that will benefit from the fund has yet to be released by the event organisers, however, in 2019 more than 350 charities benefitted from donations made through the event, with a grand total of £379,666 raised.

One such charity who has benefited from the annual generosity of walkers is St Mary’s Hospice, based in Ulverston.

A spokesperson for St Mary’s Hospice said: “We appreciate the difficulty of reaching their decision and are grateful for their continued dedication to supporting St Mary’s and other good causes.

“Our amazing army of walkers - thank you for your patience and endless enthusiasm for this beloved event.

"We will keep in touch and hopefully see you on 8th May 2021.”