Reporting by Kirstin Tait and Victoria Pease
Charities in Orkney have received a welcome funding boost after kindhearted farmers organised their very first tractor run on the island.
The farming community came together to string lights across more than 150 tractors before taking part in the 14-mile procession around Kirkwall.
Raising more than £55,000 for two local charities, the event saw hundreds of people line the streets to cheer the farmers on.
Farmer Steven Sinclair said: “The initial part of the run, it was going to be a lot of folk and it just grew and grew and grew as we went through the town, it was just overwhelming to see so many folk.
“We went down past one of the main schools, the grammar school in Kirkwall and I wouldn’t have liked to have counted how many folk were stood there, it was just unreal.”
The huge amount raised equates to a donation of £2.50 for every islander – which will allow cancer support charity CLAN and the Kirkwall MS Therapy Centre to broaden their services on Orkney.
Karen Scott from CLAN said: “It was a phenomenal event, it was just the light in the darkness that we needed.”
Organisers had set a modest fundraising target but were astonished by the donations that poured in following the tractor run, which also aimed to promote agriculture and farming in the area.
Graham Nicholson, who organised the event, said: “We set our target at £4000 to begin with, we were hoping to get a bit more than that, but not 12 times more.”
Following the success of the event and with more time to plan next year’s bright display, the farmers behind the run say next year will be both bigger and better.
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