THE total amount raised by the annual Beadlam Charity Tractor Run has surpassed £100,000.

Before this year’s event in April, the total had stood at £92,686.85, and the organisers had been hoping they might break the £100,000 ceiling.

After tallying up the funds raised from this year’s run, which saw the spectacle of about 200 tractors taking a 50-mile route through 19 Ryedale villages, they found it was more than £10,000. All funds go towards the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA).

The event – now one of the biggest annual tractor runs in the country - was launched in 2003 by retired local builder Bernard Simpson.

Thirty-five tractors took part in the first run, raising £1,700. The following year the number of vehicles and the amount raised more than doubled.

Bernard’s son, Malcolm, an estate worker from Kirkbymoorside, said: “I do a lot of the organising now, but this is still very much my dad’s event.

“We get people coming from all over the place, including Scotland, Liverpool and Nottinghamshire, and get fantastic support from a team of local volunteers.

“Most of the money we raise comes from street collections in the local villages and it’s fantastic that we have got to the £100,000 mark for our local air ambulance charity.”

Each year the run sees some off-road highlights, and a lunch provided by Bernard’s wife Olive and a team of caterers and volunteers.

The tractor run starts each year from Beadlam Grange Farm, owned by the Rooke family, who themselves have twice needed Yorkshire Air Ambulance after separate horse riding and roof fall accidents.

The rapid response emergency charity serves five million people and carries out over 1,250 missions every year.

It has just replaced its two, ageing aircraft with brand new, state-of-the-art Airbus H145 helicopters.

Bob Smailes, from YAA, said: “The Beadlam Tractor Run is now a firm fixture in the Yorkshire Air Ambulance events calendar. The support we receive on the route is wonderful.

“Bernard is a true ambassador for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and I cannot thank him enough for his support and dedication over the years, and of course Olive for her wonderful catering, which is always a real treat. Having Malcolm on board now is great and the Beadlam Tractor Run continues to go from strength to strength.”

Bernard was recently recognised by the YAA for his fundraising efforts when he and Olive were presented with a special Supporter’s Award at the charity’s annual recognition awards ceremony.