Mad birds and tractors take to the roads to raise cash

By Sarah Edwards at

Three women have set themselves a challenge – to drive 140 miles to the Dorset coast in just 12 hours.
It might sound easy until you realise they are driving vintage tractors which have a top speed of 14 mph.
Louisa Richardson, 50, her daughter Jemma, 17, – who only passed her driving test a fortnight ago – and colleague Willow White, 25, will set off tomorrow (Friday, August 2) at 5.30am, and will be raising money for Bicester based cancer support charity The Hummingbird Centre, Launton, near Bicester.
Calling themselves team Mad Birds and Tractors – they will have no protection from the elements as there is no cab.
They only decided to take on the challenge three weeks ago and although are used to putting in long hours driving tractors around the farm, taking to the roads will throw up different challenges.
They will leave from Bushey Lane Farm, Preston Bissett and they plan to stick to quieter roads with stops in Witney, Hungerford and Salisbury.
Once in Throop, Dorset, the trio will join the Purbeck Coastal Tractor Run on Saturday, a mere 42-mile run, to raise cash for the Dorset Cancer Care unit at Poole Hospital, in memory of family friend Jane Trim
Louisa said: “Jane was a family friend and we decided to join the tractor run in Dorset in her memory, but we also wanted to support a local charity. We did some research and found out about the Hummingbird Centre and their wonderful work and decided we wanted to support them.
“Working in the fields we can spend a lot of time in the tractor, but driving on the roads for that length of time will be trickier, especially in vintage tractors which have no luxuries.
“We are looking forward to getting started and getting there. I really don’t know what worst bit is going to be, but I’m dreading us breaking down.
“We would love people to give us a wave if they see us, and if anyone wants to give us tea and cake along the way we would be very grateful.
Hummingbird Centre founder Mechelle Harris said: “We are delighted Louisa, Jemma and Willow are supporting our vital work.
“We will be there to wave them off next Friday morning and hope they have a great adventure.”
Mad Birds and Tractors hope to raise at least £3,000 which will be split between the two charities.
To find out more search for Mad Birds and Tractors on Facebook or to donate view