A fourth generation farmer is about to stage his 12th annual horse-riding event to raise money for a charity which works with smallholder farmers in eastern Africa.
Tim Jury, who has a farm in Pett, near Hastings, has raised more than £22,000 for Farm Africa through his annual sponsored rides, which are open to walkers and runners as well as horse riders.
This year’s event takes place on Sunday (August 30) across 10 miles of rolling Sussex farmland and woodland.
Fellow farmers are lending their support by opening up their fields especially for the day, giving people a rare opportunity to enjoy countryside normally off limits to the public.
The ride will start at Cherry Garden Farm in Fairlight and takes in the villages of Pett and Guestling before finishing back at Fairlight.
There will be refreshments at the half way stage and plenty of opportunity to stop and enjoy the spectacular views.
Tim, a 62-year-old married father-of-four, has worked tirelessly over many years to raise well over £100,000 for Farm Africa, as well as promoting awareness of its work.
This summer he held an open garden fundraising event and there will be a carol service on his farm in December.
Tim has travelled to both Kenya and Ethiopia to see Farm Africa’s work on the ground and has even done a fundraising run through the Masai Mara game reserve.
He said: “I understand the importance of growing food and have an affinity with farmers in Africa. They are affected by so many things outside their control, like animal disease or the weather.
“The conditions there are much harsher with droughts and deluges, in the UK we don’t have extreme weather like that to wipe out our crops, but in Africa you can lose everything or can’t even get started if the weather isn’t with you.
“I have been supporting Farm Africa for many years and I have had the opportunity to see their work in action. It only takes 14 hours to travel there, the same amount of time it takes to drive to Scotland. The people I have met have been so resilient and resourceful, and seeing how such a small amount of money goes so far has been great.
“The people who Farm Africa have helped are on the road to having a much better life. They are more secure and are working together to grow their businesses.
“It’s all about recognising they are no different to us, and their success comes down to the same components all farmers face - the need for suitable tools and equipment to produce food. Farm Africa isn’t about giving food aid, it’s about building a sustainable future that involves kick starting the farming industry in Africa.
“I believe we can help farmers there to grow enough food to provide not just for their families, but for their entire countries.”
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