Festive tractor parade raises over £15,000 for Young Farmers and Air Ambulance charities

The Weald of Kent Young Farmers held its second annual “Light It Up!” tractor run on Sunday 17 December 2023, bringing festive joy to locals and raising an impressive sum for charity.

The convoy of 40 lit-up tractors drove through the Wealden villages of Goudhurst, Cranbrook, Staplehurst and Marden from 5 pm to 7 pm, finishing at Lower Ladysden Farm.

The oldest tractor, a 1989 Fendt 309LSA, was decorated as Rudolph the reindeer and driven by the youngest driver, Angus Seymour, 17, a Weald of Kent Young Farmers Club member.

The biggest tractor, a magnificent Claas Axion 960 Terra Trac at 450bhp, was driven by fruit and arable farmer Richard Budd from Stevens Farm, Hawkhurst.

The overall Best Dressed Tractor prize was awarded to Ruben Ridgewell with his John Deere 6930 fitted with a festive bubble machine. 

The Best Dressed Weald of Kent YFC Member’s Tractor prize went to Will Deering from Clock House Farm with his ultra-blue New Holland.

Claire Seymour from NP Seymour won the overall Best Dressed Driver award. 

With her daughter Fifi as a passenger, Claire drove a Fendt 516, owned by vineyard contractor Sam Barnes, which was decorated as an angel, complete with wings, a halo and a wand.

“The team at NP Seymour really pulled out all the stops to help decorate the Fendt, kindly lent to us by Sam,” said Claire. 

“Our engineer Mark made the wings, the frame for the halo and the wand attachment for the front loader in the workshop, while Ashley was instrumental in helping me to come up with the design and putting it all together in time for the run on Sunday. 

“It was such a joy to see such huge crowds of people come to support the Young Farmers and even more special to know that we’ve raised such a big sum for the Air Ambulance and the Weald of Kent Young Farmers Club.” 

Commenting on the event’s JustGiving page, organisers from the Weald of Kent YFC said: “Our tractor run was spectacular. The tractors were amazing, the drivers were brilliant, our support team was superb, and the crowds were phenomenal!”

The event was supported by Lower Ladysden Farm Shop, who provided refreshments, Osmonds Transport & Planing Ltd, who provided traffic management, Kingcott Dairy, who sponsored the parade licences, M & A Brown & Sons, who supplied collection buckets, Tow Truck Trader, who supplied hi-viz clothing, and the Star and Eagle in Goudhurst and the West End Tavern in Marden, who supplied prizes for the best tractors.

Funds raised will be split between the Air Ambulance Charity Kent Sussex Surrey (KSS) and the Weald of Kent Young Farmers Club.

To keep up to date with the total sum raised or to make a donation yourself, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/wokyfctractorrun2023.

For more information about the Weald of Kent Young Farmers, head to www.wealdofkentyfc.org.uk or visit the Facebook page @wealdofkentyfc.