A POPULAR mountain biking challenge in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance (GNAAS) is set to return in 2017.

The Hamsterley Beast, based at Hamsterley Forest, in County Durham, will be held on May 14, 2017.

Entries are now live for the challenge which sees mountain bikers from all over the world come together to take on the course.

So far, the event has raised £27,500 for GNAAS which is often called to rescue casualties in the forest which and ambulance might not be able to access.

Organiser, Jerry Tatton, said the 2017 course would be “bigger and better” with participants also being able to look forward to beer, a BBQ and camping too.

He said: “We are so privileged to be part of their fund raising team now. You are raising funds that go directly to the front line, paying for some of the best pilots in the UK and internationally enviable medical staff.”