BRITAIN'S fastest skydivers reached new heights this weekend, and are hot on the tails of the world record holder.

Mark Callard, of Alfred Road, Lowton, is officially the second-fastest skydiver in the UK, thanks to his 280mph jump at the British Speed Competition in Lincolnshire.

Mr Callard, whose average speed on the day was 243 mph, became hooked on the sport after doing a charity jump at the Bull's Head, in Astley, for Pendlebury Children's Hospital, four years ago.

The 38-year-old is a member of the North West Parachute Centre in Grange-over-Sands, and when training, can do up to 10 jumps in a weekend.

Mr Callard said: "The normal horizontal skydiving speed is between 120 and 130 mph. But going head first as we do, the current world record at 327 mph." SPEED DEMON: Skydiver Mark Callard, with both feet on the ground and, inset, in action