THIS is the first glimpse of the paper boat in which a Hampshire father and son plan to complete a 3,700-mile voyage.

New Forest adventurer Rhys Jones and his dad Alan are aiming to sail the tiny 12ft craft down the Missouri- Mississippi - the longest river in the US.

They flew out from Heathrow yesterday and hope to start their eco-friendly voyage next weekend.

The pair's unusual-looking boat comprises a wooden cabin encased in a hull made from the same material as orange juice cartons.

Rhys, 22, of Bartley, said: "Just imagine a garden shed wrapped in paper. It's not quite as pretty as a garden shed though - it's the ugliest thing you've ever seen."

As reported in the Daily Echo, Rhys' latest expedition has been inspired by his father's book on origami - the Japanese art of paperfolding.

Rhys added: "After seeing me jet off in the past he wanted to do something himself.

"He got an origami book for Christmas and had a eureka moment, but I couldn't let him go off on his own."

Rhys admitted that sailing almost 4,000 miles in a paper boat was likely to prove a major challenge.

"It's a bit different and it's also environmentally friendly," he said.

"If we can bear to see it chopped up we'll even put the boat in a recycling bin afterwards."

New Forest District Council has given Rhys and his 61-year-old father a donation towards the cost of the exhibition.

Council chairman Paul Woods said: "It's truly inspiring to see young men such as Rhys taking brave steps to promote issues that affect us all.

"At a time when the cost of travel is being felt on the environment and on the pocket, I hope we can all relate to the message that he has gone to such great lengths to raise."

Previously Rhys made headlines when he became the youngest person to climb the seven highest summits on each of the world's seven continents.