Families are being encouraged to get stuck in with the messiest charity event of the summer.

The NSPCC Messathon will be taking place in Aldenham Country Park, Elstree on Saturday, August 19.

Parents and children aged four and up will be invited to get covered in mud, scramble over hay bales and splash down the water side as part of the 2.5km obstacle course.

The NSPCC’s head of children and young people’s participation Emily Cherry will be taking part in the event with her husband and her two children.

She said: “The reason we wanted to take part in the Messathon is that my husband, through teaching, has seen a big rise in mental health issues relating to children and knows how important Childline is to young people.

“My kids have taken part in NSPCC Speak Out Stay Safe assemblies and they have seen how important it is to stay happy and safe so they want to help other children feel safe and happy.

“For us as a family if we can have great fun and help children then that’s the best day ever.”

After the fundraising event, families can explore the park and its facilities including the woodland walks, adventure playgrounds, pony rides and Winnie the Pooh’s house.

NSPCC’s Community Fundraising Manager for Hertfordshire, Jacqui Venters, said: “Messathon is the perfect event for bringing families together, getting them active, working as a team and of course, the one thing that most children love to do…getting messy!

“Messathletes will have a fantastic time tackling several obstacles and challenges around the course, all in aid of the NSPCC. We wish all participants good luck in their fundraising and we would like to thank them in advance for helping the charity support and protect children from abuse.”

Families have until Sunday, August 13 to register, and all money raised will go directly to the NSPCC.

To sign up visit www.nspcc.org.uk/messathon or to volunteer email messathon@nspcc.org.uk.