A LOCAL man is attempting to walk the Arran coastline carrying a 50kg whiskey barrel on his back to raise money for Samaritans.

Davy Ballantyne, 59, from Arran is hoping to complete the challenge and walk the 70-mile distance in 10 days to support mental health charity Samaritans through the COVID-19 crisis.

Davy started the trek on Monday and by Tuesday had completed nearly 10 miles.

Davy said: “It’ll take me a few days to get used to.

“I’ve already had a few injuries but it’s fine, I’ll get better.

“I’m hoping to do it in 10 days but it’s totally governed by the terrain.

“The challenge was originally for a diabetes charity as my daughter suffers from type one diabetes but I would rather it was for the Samaritans at the

moment due to them being so overwhelmed.

“I want to raise awareness for those struggling with their mental health at this time.”

Davy, who works for Lagg Distillery, has previously carried a 120 kilo anvil to the top of Goat Fell and climbed Ben Nevis with 60 kilos chains weighing him down.

As he celebrates his 60th birthday this week, Davy isn’t sure about taking on future challenges.

Davy said: “I can assure you this will be my final challenge. I’m getting too old.

“There’s been great support on the island. Lagg Distillery have made a donation and provided me with the barrel.

“They’re going to auction it off at one of their dinners when the challenge is finished and the proceeds will be given to the Samaritans, too, so it’s double money.”

Davy’s partner, Annelies Slaats, has been supporting him by posting daily updates on ‘Big Davy’s Challenges’ Facebook page where she is tracking his progress.

Annelies said: “I’m quite glad this is his last challenge as it takes a toll on his body, but I find it really honourable what he does.

“I’ve had so many responses from people, it’s been heart-warming.”

When he has completed the challenge, Davy said he will have a good sleep and then head back to work.

You can donate to Davy’s barrel challenge via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/davy-ballantyne3