A group of villages have opened its own memorial garden for Captain Sir Tom Moore a year on from him beginning his epic fundraising challenge.

Thruxton, Kimpton and Fyfield, collectively known as ‘The Three Villages’, raised almost £12,000 for the garden through a series of raffles, quizzes and challenges. This included soldier Neil Coleman running four marathons in the space of one weekend.

The money will also be going towards new play equipment for the villages’ sports field, with community leader Richard Smart thanking residents for their “unrivalled generosity”.

The fundraising in the villages began on February 13, when residents held a raffle to raise money for the sports field. Over the following seven weeks, the villagers raised money in a variety of ways, including meat draws and online quizzes, as well as receiving donations from businesses and individuals alike.

Neil Coleman, meanwhile, raised £3,200 for the project by completing an ultramarathon across a March weekend, covering 105 miles to ensure the project would be a success.

Following the fundraising, the villages have generated £11,630 to go towards improving the sports field. This includes the installation of £5,500 of children’s play equipment, as well as the completion of Captain Tom’s Garden.

The garden was completed within the last week, just in time to commemorate the April 6 anniversary of the soldier’s fundraising walks which raised over £33 million for NHS charities.

These new facilities will be taken over by Thruxton Parish Council, who have agreed to maintain the equipment following a March meeting of the council.

Richard Smart said: "On February 13, we held a raffle to try and raise some money to enhance the Three Villages Sports Field. Who could possibly have imagined that seven weeks later we have raised £11630, but we have! Thanks to raffles, generous local donors, business donors, advertising space sales and sponsorship of Neil Coleman Mega Marathon we have achieved the impossible.

"The Three Villages community is incredible and I thank you all for your unrivalled generosity. So many of you have dipped in your pockets or helped with the construction or baked cakes or just whatever needed doing amazing.

“I am delighted to announce that Captain Tom's Garden, in memory of the inspirational Captain Sir Tom Moore, is ready for use and also for planting. This is a wonderful social space.”