A TEAM from Skipton based planners Rural Solutions cycled the equivalent length of the country from the comfort of their canal side office, raising a magnificent £5,200 for a charity close to their hearts.

The four strong team, on static bikes, had been prepared to spend 24 hours cycling the 874 miles from ‘John O’Groats to Land’s End’, but after setting off at midday, they managed it in just half the time, finishing 12 hours later, at just after midnight.

They were spurred on by volunteers from their chosen charity, The Country Trust, who gave their support via video links, and by a visit from South Craven triathlete and Pride of Britain nominee, Sam Boatwright.

The team chose the charity because of the educational role it plays in communicating farming, food and the countryside to disadvantaged children via farm-based ‘discovery days’ and residential weeks.

William Fry, managing director of Rural Solutions said it had been a great success.

“We didn’t quite anticipate the rate that the team was going to maintain, they stormed through the challenge, achieving speeds of well over 30km/hr, twice as fast as we’d expected. The team effort has been incredible and the support and enthusiasm wonderful to be a part of.”

The charity’s Sue Thompson said it was a significant donation that would do a lot of good, allowing the charity to take up to 30 children on a farm discovery day, take children on residential visits and offer up to 60 children to take part in a food discovery programme.

“I couldn’t believe that the crew did it in half the time, raising more than twice the amount of money they first predicted. It was beautifully organised, with so much wonderful support, willingness and enthusiasm by so many to take part. It was a privilege for The Country Trust to experience, first-hand, the teamwork, energy and conviviality that clearly makes it such a successful organisation.”

Mr Fry added: “We’re a business that is anchored in the British countryside and we recognise the huge importance for rural people and businesses to connect with their urban neighbours. The Country Trust plays a crucial role in touching the lives of some of the most difficult to reach families and sharing the wonder of food, farming and our landscapes.”