A COUPLE has invited the community to join them for a picnic next weekend before they embark on an ambitious walking challenge.

Founder of Drinkable Rivers Li An Phoa and her partner Maarten van der Schaaf will be coming to the Cotswolds from Holland to walk 350 kilometres of the Thames. 

This adventure will commence at the source of the Thames in Kemble on Sunday, September 17 and the couple plan to finish the walk at Allhallows, Rochester on Tuesday, October 17.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Thames Walk MapThames Walk Map (Image: Drinkable Rivers)

They have invited local residents, teachers and children to join them at different points of their walking challenge. 

The pair hope to engage with school children, farmers, fishermen, teachers, rowers, journalists, politicians, environmentalists during the walk to share their vision of a world with drinkable rivers.

Each day of the challenge they will monitor the water quality of the Thames - as part of their as part of Drinkable Rivers' ongoing citizen science research project - and hope to stay with locals throughout their journey.

To celebrate the first day of the challenge Cotswolds Rivers Trust has organised a potluck picnic at the source of the Thames in Kemble which will start at 12am on September 17.

Cotswolds Rivers Trust is a charitable organisation funded by donations and is dedicated to the caring for and conservation of Cotswolds Rivers. 

A spokesperson for Cotswolds Rivers Trust said: "We are living through a time of great change. 

"We are in the middle of a biodiversity crisis and climate emergency we are witnessing loss of habitat, collapse of ecosystems. 

"We are fighting for a future where our children and grandchildren can enjoy healthy vibrant rivers teaming with aquatic life. 

"The Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful places in the country with all these incredible rivers running through heavenly woodlands, rolling hills.

"If anyone would like volunteer at the organisation or join Li An and Maarten on the walk please email debbie.campbell@cotswoldsriverstrust.org."

To find out more about this challenge or to register to join the walk visit shorturl.at/hSUZ7