A POND keeper is preparing to migrate thousands of miles following swallows as they leave Wales for Africa this autumn.

Ed Beverley-Jones, 43, based in Chepstow, sets off on his mammoth Wales Africa Wales bike ride this month in aid of St David’s Hospice Care.

Ed, known in Monmouthshire as 'The Pond Guy', is self funding the epic migration which will see him ride a bike for the first time in 20 years.

He will pedal the donated bike from Wales through England across France to Spain, Portugal to Morocco and then back.

Mr Beverly-Jones, who makes a living by looking after owners’ private ponds, will start the two-wheeled adventure from the top of the Sugar Loaf mountain.

Ed, originally from Newport but currently living in Usk, said: “I watch and communicate with them (swallows) all summer and then in the autumn I watch as they prepare their fledged young to make the journey to Africa.

"I started wondering about where they go and decided, well why not, I’ll follow their route to Africa. I haven’t been to Africa before. I plan to follow their course all the way there and as soon as I set foot in Tangier in Morocco I’ll head straight back."

Mr Beverley-Jones chose to support St David's Hospice after the charity recently cared for one of his clients who recently died after having a brain tumour.

He added: "He received such wonderful care and attention from St David’s Hospice care nurses who attended him at his home which he had worked so hard for all of his life. The St David’s Hospice Care nurses cared for him so wonderfully during his last days.

“His wife told me that as he lay in his bed at home he was really concerned about his pond.

"I was glad to be able to put his mind at rest by ensuring that the pond was in tip top condition.

"After he passed his wife was so grateful. She gave me a pair of trainers that he’d not had the chance to wear before he died. I shall be wearing those shoes on my trip in his memory."

Gemma Sandhu, of St David’s Hospice Care, said: “Ed just walked into the hospice one day and told us what he planned to do. It’s wonderful what Ed is doing for the charity and we wish him the very best on his migration from Wales to Africa and back with his swallows.”

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/ed-jones4