An amazing 1,476 mile cycle ride across the British Isles has given Susie and Wayne Eastwood a unique insight into the polluted state of the country - following the death from lung cancer of a close friend.

Susie, 52, is a professor of toxicology at Brunel University. Last year a close friend of hers - Ruth Strauss, the wife of former England cricketer Sir Andrew Strauss OBE - died from a rare type of lung cancer.

Susie and her husband Wayne, 53, of Britwell Road, Burnham came up with a plan to raise money in her memory by cycling from Lands End to John o Groats.

The aim was to unite cancer patients, their families, friends, doctors, nurses and concerned cyclists in as many counties as possible. More than 70 people joined them, some cycling alongside the couple for 100 miles during their 16 day 1,476 mile journey. They included doctors and nurses from the specialist lung cancer units at the Royal Marsden and Christie Hospitals in London and Manchester.

Sir Andrew Strauss joined them on the ride for some of the way. While their friends Linda and Charlotte Page, a mother and daughter team who run a waste disposal company Pyrocore and one of their team Caroline Nicol drove the support vehicle.

During their journey Susie and Wayne used portable air monitors to monitor pollution in London, Cardiff, Manchester and other towns and cities. Pollution levels exceeded the World Health Organisation's safe limits for more than 70 per cent of the ride.

Susie said: "This ride was about honouring the things that matter to us all – our health, the health and wellbeing of our families, friends and communities and the quality of the air we breathe.

“It is not widely appreciated that 13,000 people are diagnosed with non-smoking lung cancers every year or that lung cancer in non-smokers is now the eighth biggest cancer killer in the U.K."

Susie and Wayne completed the ride on October 7, having covered 35 counties across England , Wales and Scotland and raised £7,000 to date. Funds raised will be donated to the Ruth Strauss Foundation which funds research and support for patients and their families, the ALK-Positive UK Lung Cancer patient support charity and the Friends of the Earth Campaign for Clean Air.