A TRACTOR run which has raised more than £40,000 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance has a new starting point after growing to probably the biggest event of its kind in the country.

Knaresborough Young Farmers’ Club’s annual tractor run - organised in memory of former member Mike Spink - will set off from the site of the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate on Sunday, March 8.

“We’ve always set off from a little car park off Knaresborough’s main street but last year we totally filled it,” says one of the event organisers, James Parker.

“It’s wonderful to now have the support of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, which is allowing us to start from one of its car parks.

“We’re definitely the biggest tractor run in Yorkshire and probably in the whole of the country, which is quite amazing when you think it just started out with 12 of us going for a run out on our tractors to remember our mate Mike.”

Last year 306 tractors took part in the special drive around the Nidderdale countryside.

This will be the fourth annual tractor run the club has organised since 24 year-old Mike died in a road accident whilst working on a farm in New Zealand in 2017. His friends from the YFC wanted to do something to honour him and a tractor run seemed the most fitting tribute.

“It’s breathtaking to think how this event has grown,” says James. “Mike would have been absolutely capped to bits to see it.”

The town of Knaresborough and its residents have been such good supporters of the tractor run that this year’s run will still pass through the town.

“We do a different route every year but rest assured Knaresborough will still be included,” said James.

“Of course, it’s not only the tractors that make this a spectacular event - it’s the spectators, marshals and helpers who all play such a huge part.”

The tractors will set off at 9am and finish up in Pateley Bridge at approximately 12 noon.

Ironically, despite the club organising such a big event, Knaresborough YFC is desperately seeking new members.

“It’s just happened that a lot of us have become over the official age for young farmers at the same time,” said James.

“There used to be about 35 members turning up for meetings every week and now the club’s down to only about ten. It would be absolutely wonderful if some of the youngsters who come out to see the tractor run started to come along to young farmers. We meet every Wednesday night, either at Knaresborough Football Club or are out visiting a farm or doing some activity or other. Everybody is very welcome; you don’t have to live on a farm to join young farmers.”

For further information about the tractor run or joining the YFC visit www.yfyfc.co.uk or phone 01423 546170.

* Pictures: Rachael Fawcett