Country Challenge Helps Countryside Crisis

3rd May 2011

George F. White are sponsoring the very first Farm Crisis Network Yorkshire “Have a Go” Country Sports Challenge on Saturday 4th June at the Tanfield Estate near Ripon. Now they are looking for other rural competitors to enter the challenge along with their own team of rural surveyors, planners and property agents. The aim of the event is to raise much needed funds and build awareness of the FCN’s work in supporting farmers facing difficulties.

The magnificent backdrop for the event will be the family fishing lake at the Tanfield Estate on the River Ure courtesy of owner Christopher Bourne-Arton. A farmer himself and also a former President of the Yorkshire Branch of the CLA and the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, he is well aware of the challenges of modern farming. The competition is open to teams of three with all members taking part in the main disciplines of Rifle Range, Clay Shooting and Fly Casting. Further optional activities will include the Deer Challenge, Pigeon Plucking and Fly Tying. The winning teams will all receive luxury hampers filled with local produce.

Chairman of FCN Yorkshire, Howard Petch, says, “I would like to thank George F. White and Tanfield Estate for their help with this event which we hope will be the first of many. Farming in Yorkshire can be rewarding but there are also problems often associated with increased costs, single farm payment, and low incomes, especially for hill famers; shortage of affordable rural housing is also an increasing problem. The funds from the Country Challenge will be invaluable in helping us to continue providing help for local farming families who are facing difficulties. Whether or not you have tried country sports before, it is sure to be a very enjoyable day so please join us and enter your team.”

FCN is a UK network of groups of volunteers from the farming community and rural churches who provide practical and pastoral support for over 1000 families each year. It was set up in response to a period of crisis typified by low farm incomes, severe flooding and outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease, Bluetongue and Avian Influenza. In Yorkshire, 27 volunteers continue to help whenever a need is identified. Some farming families are struggling financially, some suffer from strained relationships and poor health while others are unable to cope with ever-increasing rules and regulations. In each case, volunteers provide practical advice and support for as long as it is needed.

Kevin Guy, Partner at George F. White said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the first FCN sporting event in Yorkshire. Agriculture is the backbone of the rural economy and their support of families who live and work in this environment is extremely important. We are looking forward to raising money while having some fun with friends and colleagues at the same time.”

The “Have a Go” country Challenge takes place on Saturday 4th June at 10am the Tanfield Estate, West Tanfield, Ripon. Tickets are £20 per person including coffee on arrival. Lunch and refreshments are available. Teams of 3 must be entered by June 1st. For further information, please contact FCN Yorkshire Co-ordinator Helen Benson on Tel: 01677 470180 or email fcnyorkshire@btinternet.com

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