Student’s tractor challenge for flood victims

Lucy Harrison (right) with the BBC's Country File presenter Matt Baker and Meg Rose
Lucy Harrison (right) with the BBC's Country File presenter Matt Baker and Meg Rose
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A university student from Chipping has successfully completed an 18-hour tractor challenge to deliver much needed silage and straw to flood stricken, Somerset farmers.

Nineteen-year-old Lucy Harrison, who is a member of Bilsborrow Young Farmers and former pupil of Brabin’s, Longridge High and Clitheroe Grammar, was among a group of students from Harper Adams University in Shropshire who made the journey with three tractors and trailers loaned to them last week.

The students, who had appealed to Shropshire farmers, land owners and businesses for fodder and also for sponsorship to cover the cost of fuel, eventually set off last Thursday at 3.30am after a stressful week encountering and overcoming a number of hurdles.

Lucy, who is in her second year studying for a BSc (Hons) Rural Enterprise and Land Management degree, said they had two 40ft trailers stacked two high and another 32ft trailer with 16 bales of silage and despite some problems along the way when they got muddled up with another convoy organised by Shropshire Young Farmers and a few wrong turns at roundabouts, they arrived safe and sound at Sedgemoor Market, near Bridgewater, nine hours later.

They were also supported on the route by people waving, pomping their horns and even a primary school came out to watch them go by.

“When we got to the market everyone was very grateful,” said Lucy, adding most of the silage and straw went off to help the farmers immediately, but some was reserved for the following morning, prior to their journey back, when Matt Baker and his team from the BBC’s Country File popped along to film, footage from which will be shown on TV either this Sunday or the following week.

“We are now all very tired but we are very pleased with what we have delivered,” said Lucy.