Knaresborough tractor run raises £21,000 for air ambulance

The Knaresborough Young Farmers Club (YFC) annual tractor run has raised £21,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

A total of 383 tractors took part in the mammoth run, which set off from the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate on Sunday morning (13 March).

Spectators cheered the tractors as the convoy passed through Knaresborough, Burton Leonard, Bishop Monkton, Markington, Blazefield, and Pateley Bridge, before reaching Nidderdale Showground at about midday.

Hundreds of tractors parked at showgrounds

© Dave Turley

Knaresborough YFC said the amazing effort had helped generate more than £5,000 in cash donations on the day. The JustGiving page is still open for donations.

There was also a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, with some tractors displaying the country’s blue-and-yellow flag.

Tractor with a Ukrainian flag on the front

© Jill Graham

Tim Weatherhead, who farms north of Ripon and helps organise the annual run, said it was another impressive turnout.

“It was a very good day, the weather was just about perfect,” he said. “What makes our run slightly different to other tractor runs is the amount of public we get.

Drone view of town street with tractors

© Dave Turley

“When we came into Pateley high street, there were hundreds of people.”

Knaresborough YFC has supported Yorkshire Air Ambulance for 10 years but also uses the tractor run to remember Knaresborough dairy farmer Mike Spink, who died five years ago while working in New Zealand.

Mr Weatherhead said the air ambulance was crucial to rural communities. “We are in rural areas that can be very isolated. We’ve had a couple of members who have had to use it.”

Charity aid for Ukraine

Farmers who deal with Lloyd Williams & Hughes at Bryncir Auction Centre, north Wales, will be able to make a direct contribution to the humanitarian appeal for Ukraine, co-ordinated by the Disasters Emergency Committee.

From 14-28 March anyone attending the mart will be able to make a cash contribution, contribute a percentage from the sale of stock, or donate an animal for sale towards the appeal.

Meanwhile, ABP Food Group, the Goodman Foundation and the Parma Group have made a €3m (£2.5m) donation that will be used for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

The organisations will match, up to an additional €2m, any further cash raised by employees or donated by customers.

The money will be sent to Unicef, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).