A man from St Albans has decided to combine his love of the Polar Regions with his love of community to take on challenging feat in support of four charities close to his heart.

Ed Suttie, 48, of Verulam Road, will be trekking to the North Pole from a position of two degrees south of the magnetic pole in April 2016.

The whole challenge, which covers more than 200km, will take around 21 days of walking and skiing on sea, ice and snow.

Mr Suttie said: “The idea popped up two years ago, disappeared and resurfaced again.

“I have lived in the same community for 20 years and had the same employer – BRE in Garston – for a similar time.

“I started running a bit to get fit and thought I should take on a physical challenge to raise money for charity – my way of giving something back to the community.

“I love the Polar Regions and have been fascinated by them from an early age.”

The trek will be the biggest challenge Mr Suttie has ever undertaken and adds he will be “dusting off his past a little” because in the 1990s he worked for the British Antarctic Survey and spent two summer field seasons in Antarctica working as a glaciologist.

The expedition will be led by a polar guide - while remaining highly challenging it will not be high risk.

To prepare, he has been having personal training sessions at a gym since June.

Through this expedition, Mr Suttie is aiming to raise £30,000 for four charities, including Cancer Research UK, Rennie Grove Hospice Care, Earthworks St Albans and Antarctic Heritage trust.

He is funding the trip entirely by himself and all funds raised will go to these charities.

He said: “Cancer is a disease that touches all of our lives in one way – a neighbour, my dad and friend were taken too early this year and another close friend is fighting breast cancer now.

“Science and research can change this.

“Rennie Grove Hospice is our local hospice and has to raise £6.7million each year to stand still and I love growing veg in my back garden with the kids and Earthworks St Albans support this.

“These are my three main charities, but finally I wanted to raise a little money for the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust who look after the historic building in Antarctica because I love history and the Polar Regions.

“These charities bring together my love of science and its value to society, my understanding that community is key in life and my interest in history.”

Fundraising manager for Herfordshire, Rebecca van der Westhuizen, said: "Having met Ed I am really excited about his challenge. His enthusiasm and determination is inspirational.

"The funds Ed is raising will go towards the charity’s research to beat more than 200 types of cancer, helping bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

"Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding for its ground-breaking research. So funds raised through Ed are crucial to the work of doctors, nurses and scientists who work day and night to fight cancer on all fronts.

"From everyone at Cancer Research UK we would like to thank Ed and those supporting him."

So far Mr Suttie has raised more than £2,100.

To donate to his cause, visit http://www.ed2northpole.org/.