A FUNDRAISING farmer who illuminated East Hampshire with a festive cavalcade has handed a late Christmas present to an airborne charity.

Mark Rowden is outstanding in his field when it comes to charity work as he’s the man behind the RMW Charity Christmas Tractor Run.

The Weston farmer was hoping to raise £7,000 from December’s run but the two-day event in aid of the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance reached new heights.

“I’m pleased to say my tractor run managed to raise £8,018.93, smashing the £7,000 target,” said the manager of RM Winscom Ltd.

“I was aiming for 50 tractors to take part but a total of 67 joined the convoy together with a vintage Fire Land Rover on both nights plus a steam roller on Saturday evening with our amazing finale ending in Petersfield Town Square.”

He added: “It’s been so well received in Petersfield and the surrounding towns and villages. I would like to make sure everyone who’s not on social media and gets thanked for their support.”

The RMW Charity Christmas Tractor Run was the second Mark has organised in aid of the HIOWAA with the inaugural 2022 event raising more than £5,000 for the good cause.

Enthusiasts, vintage vehicle restorers and farm workers joined forces and decorated their tractors with festive lights for the seasonal event.

The recipients rely solely on donations so the charity is very grateful for Mark’s support according to HIOWAA worker Judith Stephens.

She said: “It’s really important to spread the word across the county about what we do and this tractor run is the highlight of our Christmas and calendar year.

“We provide pre-hospital critical care to anyone in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight that needs us. We are completely dependent on donations and don’t receive any government or NHS funding.”

She added: “Raising over £8,000 this year we can say Mark has funded two-and-a-bit emergency helicopter missions, each of which could potentially save a life. “

The most important part is getting our critical care team to the patient. So, every donation really does help.”

For more details about the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance or to make a donation visit www.hiowaa.org.

* Thank you to Shine Radio for additional copy