A FUNERAL director who trekked 1,400km across the Arctic Circle has won a national fundraising award.

Kris Marley, who works in Washington, Wearside, braved temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees during the ten-day dog sled and snowmobile adventure ArcticEnduro 2012, raising £1,700 for the armed forces charity Help for Heroes.

His effort was named community fundraising activity of the year by The Co-operative Funeralcare, a contest open to 4,000 staff across 800 UK branches.

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Mr Marley said: “The trek crossed Norway and Finland, 400km north of the Arctic Circle, and involved long days and sleeping under the stars.

“Although it was a tough challenge I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We got to witness one of the best displays of the Northern Lights there has been in a number of years.

“I am delighted that my activity has been recognised.”