MORE than 200 runners enjoyed spectacular scenery as they took part in the return of a popular charity race.

From veteran runners to toddlers, young and old came together to take part in Gwent Wildlife Trust's (GWT) Race for Wildlife 10K on Sunday.

The event gave runners a choice of three races - the 10k, the 1k family fun run and the 100m dash for children.

Starting and finishing at Undy Athletic Football Club, the 10k race followed a road to Redwick, taking in the stunning Gwent Levels.

The family event welcomed all ages to take part, with categories for under 8s and for veterans over 60.

Race director Robert Magee said the event proved popular.

"It was fantastic," he said.

"We have had a lot of positive feedback from the participants and we had an excellent turn out.

"There is a big emphasis on the location and the scenery is fantastic."

The event is the fifth of its kind that GWT has organised, with help from Chepstow Harriers Running Club.

A total of 171 runners took part in the 10k, including water vole species champion for Wales, Newport East assembly member John Griffiths.

GWT awarded the former Welsh Government environment minister the race number 200, to represent the number of water voles they released on their Magor Marsh nature reserve.

The re-introduction in 2012 came about after these once native mammals to the Gwent Levels, became locally extinct in the early 2000s.

Mr Griffiths completed the race in 50 minutes and eight seconds, coming in 49th place.

Lee Kiely was the fastest male, finishing in 35 minutes and 46 seconds, while Sophie Deere was the fastest female, with a time of 38 minutes and 54 seconds.

The winner of the 1k family run was Emily Dent (under 14 category), with a time of four minutes and 13 seconds, while Vaughn Hughes (under 11 category) was the first male with a time of four minutes and 16 seconds.

A total of 42 children took part in the 1k family run, the highest ever total. A range of prizes were on offer in different categories. Mr Magee said the race also attracted a lot of first time 10k runners. The Race for Wildlife is a key fundraiser in the calendar for GWT, and is expected to raise thousands of pounds. The total is being counted.