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Fundraising marathon tractor ride heads West

By WMNlynbarton  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

By Lyn Barton

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Tractors are not an unusual sight on Westcountry roads, but later this spring a fundraising event will see farmers take to the wheel for a marathon drive across the region.

The tractor drive to Lands End is aimed at raising money for two charities, one which helps servicemen and women returning from the front line and farming families in need.

Charities Troop Aid and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) have joined forces to organise the Troops and Tractors event, which involves farmers giving up their time and taking it in turns to drive the tractor and a trailer around the region.

Starting from TV presenter Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire, they will cover some 600 miles all the way to Land’s End and back to raise thousands of pounds for the two much needed charities.

During six days on the road, they will be joined by supporters raising awareness of the work of Troop Aid and RABI as they make their way around the region.

During the week, the team will pass through Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Bristol before heading back to Gloucestershire.

The route is currently being finalised but is expected to take in places such as Exeter, Plymouth, Newquay and Burnham-on-Sea.

The event gets under way on Monday, April 7 and is expected to finish on Saturday, April 12.

It is hoped the long distance trip will raise at least £10,000 to be shared by the charities.

Troop Aid was set up to provide basic essentials, such as T-shirts, shorts and toiletries, in a Grab Bag for injured servicemen and women, who often return to the UK from war zones with no personal effects or clothing.

RABI is a grant-making charity which helps farming people of all ages if they are in financial difficulty. In 2012 it supported more than 1,500 farming families, making grants totalling £2 million.

Troop Aid secretary Pam Sutton said: “This event is a great opportunity to work with another charity and raise funds and awareness for both RABI, who support farming families, and Troop Aid, who support injured service personnel.”

Jenni Thompson, regional manager of RABI South Central said: “We are thrilled to be working with Troop Aid on this exciting project and are looking forward to meeting our supporters along the route to help us raise much needed funds for these worthy causes.”

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