Farmer Focus: A journey to Ukraine for Pickups for Peace

This month, I’ve handed over to my wife, Debbie, to share details of a mission to Ukraine she hopes to help with.

She intends to be a driver for the next convoy of 4×4 pickups to make its way to Ukraine as part of the Pickups for Peace initiative.

This charity was started by farmers in Aberdeenshire, and it has grown arms and legs.

Its mission to supply vehicles started at the beginning of 2023, with the aim to deliver 100 vehicles by the end of the year.

Amazingly, 209 vehicles have already been delivered, along with £1.8m in direct aid. We drive to Lviv – about 1,000 miles – to hand over the vehicles to the 24th Brigade of the Ukrainian Army (although there may be a slight diversion via Agritechnica in Hanover).

About the author

James Playfair-Hannay
Pedigree Angus and Shorthorn breeder James Playfair-Hannay runs 375 suckler cows and 1,500 Lairg-type North Country Cheviots in the Scottish Borders with wife Debbie and son Robert. They farm 1,780ha (4,400 acres), of which 728ha (1,800 acres) is contract-farmed, and have a 283ha (700-acre) farm contract-farmed for them further north.
Read more articles by James Playfair-Hannay

See also: Beef genetics auction raises £27k for Ukraine

Our local village of Morebattle in the Scottish Borders took one vehicle in September and another two are leaving shortly. Not bad for a parish of just 400 people.

The managers of our community shop, Roddy and Dougal, joined the September convoy.

They said: “The organisers have got everything working like clockwork, with priority passage at the Ukrainian border, and excellent support within Ukraine. Many people, from a range of backgrounds (mainly agricultural) make it happen.”

As Russia continues to target the power infrastructure, generators are high on the list of requirements, along with quad and dirt bikes.

Also on the list are items such as tyres, first aid kits, chainsaws and winter clothing. An unusual item is fishing nets, which are used to protect infrastructure from drones.

Not only do these vehicles and supplies provide real, solid, physical support for Ukraine by saving lives, they also give huge mental and moral support.

Help is even more important now, given that this conflict has been superseded by the turmoil in the Middle East – Putin has not gone away.

We need to remember that they are fighting not just for their own country. but for each and every one of us.

Vehicles need to be roadworthy, have a valid MOT and good tyres. Convoys are leaving every other month. If you have a vehicle or equipment, you can help. 

Just visit or