An East Lothian farmer is going to tackle the North Coast 500 route in a unique way in order to support RSABI’s ‘Help us help them’ campaign. Instead of travelling by car or bicycle, he will be doing the whole thing in a tractor!
John Meikle, from Hoprig Mains, a family farming business, will be driving a brand new Massey Ferguson tractor supplied by Ancroft Tractors (with fuel supplied by Crystal Fuels) all the way around the North Coast of Scotland between the 13th and 15th of June.
Aiming to drive all the hours of daylight that the Northern Highlands will provide at this time of year, John has set himself the ambitious target of completing the journey within three days. He is hoping to complete the route, pulling in to the grounds of Inverness Castle, during the afternoon of Wednesday 15th June. John will be supported in his complex logistical undertaking by friend Brian Blackie, who will be driving a pick-up support vehicle, donated by A.F Noble of Penicuik, and carrying sufficient fuel for the journey.
The North Coast 500 is an iconic route measuring just over 500 miles in the North Highlands. It is Scotland's answer to Route 66, showcasing stunning rugged coastal scenery, castles, beaches and ruins. The clockwise route follows the main roads across the coastal edges of the North Highlands taking in villages and towns in places such as Ullapool, Durness, John O'Groats, Dornoch.
This unique solo driving journey is being undertaken by 62 year-old John as he seeks to raise awareness and valuable funds for RSABI, Scotland's charity that supports people who have worked in agriculture, crofting and other land based industries and who are now experiencing hardship. RSABI has strong roots in the North of Scotland where many rural people are currently experiencing hard times. John had the following to say about his endeavour: “I have spent many hours driving tractors for a living over the years, and I couldn't resist this fantastic opportunity to support the RSABI ‘Help us help them’ campaign during such tough times for agriculture and crofting.” He continued: “The new route in the North Highlands is an inspiring one and I hope my wee challenge in this big red tractor will encourage many people to come forward and donate funds to such a worthwhile cause!”
Paul Tinson from RSABI added: “We’re so grateful to John for going out of his way to raise much needed funds for RSABI and our ‘Help us help them’ campaign. Driving 500 miles in three days will be no picnic in a tractor and we hope as many people as possible will come forward and back his tremendous effort.” You can donate to John's North Coast 500 Tractor Drive for RSABI at www.virginmoneygiving.com/NC500RSABI and follow his progress on Twitter @RSABI and on Facebook during a few inspiring days in June.
* RSABI is a registered charity which provides financial assistance, support and a helpline to improve the lives of individuals and their dependants, where these individuals rely, or have relied, upon land based employment and who through age, injury or illness or other misfortune, now experience hardship. Contact: www.rsabi.org.uk or 0300 111 4166. Individuals, businesses and organisations wishing to volunteer for or support RSABI are urged to contact email@example.com / www.rsabi.org.uk