VOLUNTEERS are preparing to leg it to raise cash for a local children's charity.

The event will see a team of 12 try to `leg' the Standedge canal tunnel next Sunday to raise money for the West Yorkshire Forget-Me-Not Trust.

The tunnel on the Huddersfield Narrow Canal was opened in 1811 after taking 16 years to complete.

It was built under the supervision of John Rooth, who was superintendent of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, and famed Industrial Revolution engineer Thomas Telford.

To keep costs down, the tunnel was built without a towpath. So while the horses that pulled the boats crossed over the hill the boat crew had to `leg' the boat through the tunnel.

This was done either by lying on boards across the boat and walking along the walls or by lying on the cabin to walk across the roof of the tunnel.

This could take up to four hours!

It has been nearly half a century since it has been possible to `leg' the tunnel, which is over three miles long and nearly 640ft underground.

The team will be split into pairs to cross the stretch, which passes the Pennines between Diggle and Marsden, legging half-a-mile each.

They will meet at Standedge Tunnel at 9.30am on the day and be taken to Diggle, to be briefed by a British Waterways team, before they set off at 11am.

They are expected to complete the course at 2pm as they arrive in Marsden.

Bonny the Boathorse will travel over the top while the boat is legged through the tunnel. Visitors are invited to join her along the Boat Lane.

On a fun-packed day there will be free family entertainment at Standedge Visitor Centre, where there will be characters in period costume, along with traditional games and crafts.