YOUNG farmers drove tractors, big and small, across the Yorkshire moors over the Bank Holiday weekend to raise money and awareness for colleagues in crisis.

Staindrop Young Farmers’ Club’s first ever tractor run saw 30 machines embark on a 40-mile cross-country route over the Stang in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

The route crossed the North Yorkshire and County Durham border several times through the day, taking in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale after starting near the River Tees.

Chris Dobinson, chairman of Staindrop Young Farmers’ Club, said the day had been a great success and raised more than £300 for those struggling in the industry.

He said: “The RABI is a farming charity that benefits farmers in financial difficulty. Financial aid is given to the farmers themselves, rather than specifically for animal feed or other inputs.

“In the past two years, we have raised money for the Great North Air Ambulance and the Teenage Cancer Trust, so this year, we felt it would be good to return to something farming related and this is our first ever tractor run.”

While being a first for the club, it was also a special day for organiser Matthew Bainbridge, whose family farm was the start point for the day.

“We’ve never had a tractor run from our own farm before. I have done tractor runs with my grandad, although on smaller, vintage type tractors."

Starting at Moorhouse Farm, Caldwell, the convoy headed south through Hutton Magna, passed through Newsham and Barningham, before launching off-road over the moors to the Charles Bathurst Inn, Arkengarthdale. After lunch, the route snaked down Swaledale from Reeth, heading back over the moors at Marske, and ending at Smallways Country Inn.

Founded in 1860, the RABI is a grant-making charity covering all ages, funding disability equipment, care home fees, relief farm staff and training grants to boost off-farm income.