THE Earl of Shaftesbury Nick Ashley-Cooper is to open the park and grounds of St Giles House in Wimborne St Giles to the public for the first time for the inaugural Great Shaftesbury Run on June 12.

It will raise cash for the Wings for Life charity for people with spinal injuries, the Philip Green Memorial School and the Echo-backed Sparkle Appeal for the Victoria Education Centre and Sports College. The Earl broke his back in a horse riding accident more than a year ago, but has staged a remarkable recovery and recently completed the 250km Atacama Crossing in Chile – raising nearly £7,000 for the Wings for Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation.

Nina Alexandersen, head of Wings for Life UK, said the Earl was an inspiration to the charity.

“Opening the Shaftesbury Estate for the first time is incredibly exciting, and we are honoured that participants will be able to raise funds for Wings for Life in such a unique way,” she said.

Entrants to the Great Shaftesbury Run can take on two courses – either a 10k or a half-marathon – both of which start and finish at St Giles House and follow trails through the Cranborne Chase and West Wiltshire Downs AONB.