FOURTEEN farmers have raised around £13,000 for charity by taking on a coast-to-coast cycle challenge.

The farmers, from Teesdale and Weardale in County Durham, completed the 150-mile journey from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland across three days last week.

With an average age of 45 - brought down by one 19-year-old rider - many of the farmers had not been on a bike for decades.

However, what they lacked in training they made up for in enthusiasm, with all fourteen members crossing the finish line on Saturday, June 7, with a smile on their face.

The Dales Farmers on Tour was dreamt up by Upper Teesdale farmer Neville Bainbridge, as a fun way to raise money for four charities, the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Great North Air Ambulance and Meningitis Now.

The aim was to raise £5,000 but, with sponsorship still flooding in, the group are on track to raise around £13,000.

Mr Bainbridge, 52, who is chairman of Langdon Beck Show, said: “We are absolutely amazed at the amount of money we have raised. The support has been overwhelming.

“When we passed through Langdon Beck and Weardale friends came out to cheer us on and gave us food and drinks.

“We would like to thank everyone who helped us, especially Sue Matthews of the Langdon Beck Hotel.”