BOOK shop owner Jo Batchelor has spent the past year swimming the length of the M4 motorway without encountering any cars but now she is taking the challenge to a new level to raise money for The British Heart Foundation in memory of her mum.

Ms Batchelor, 56, who owns Devizes Books, is trying to swim the length of the M4 from Chiswick in London to Pont Abraham in Carmarthenshire.

Her goal now is to also raise £1,200 for The British Heart Foundation with her 189 mile swim which is the equivalent of 12,160 lengths of the pool at Devizes Leisure Centre.

As of last week she had swum 10,111 lengths which is about 158 miles and in the past seven days has added about five miles to her total.

She said: “Have you ever thought about swimming the distance of some the UK’s busiest motorways? Probably not, but for those looking to test themselves, Wiltshire Council’s swimming challenge for 2019 is the motorway network challenge, swim the distance of a UK motorway throughout the course of the year.

“I started the challenge in January but only decided to use it as a fundraiser about six weeks ago.

“There are 12 service stations along the M4 so it would be good if people could sponsor me per service station. So far I have stopped at Heston, Reading, Chieveley, Membury, Leigh Delamere, Severn View, Magor, Cardiff Gate & Cardiff West. “Another three to go. Alternatively people could sponsor by junction, of which there are 49, I am approaching Junction 35.”

Her mum Meg died six years ago aged 80 from heart complications following a fall.

Ms Batchelor said: “The BHF saves lives every day by funding ground-breaking research and caring for heart patients.”

She has sponsor forms in her shop and has set up a page at Remembering Meg Simpson - JustGiving.