Some of UK agriculture’s biggest names have come together to support a four-day charity cycle ride in July, which will cover a 260-mile route through Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk.
The AF Group, AICC, Bayer Crop Science, Corteva Agriscience (DowDuPont), FMC, NIAB, Rotam, and Syngenta UK are backing The 3 Plots Challenge, which will visit three NIAB field trial centres – Leadenham in South Lincolnshire, NIAB HQ in Cambridge, and Morley in Norfolk – between Thursday 5 July and Sunday 8 July.
The Challenge is a fun event in aid of the Rob Stephenson Trust, open to individuals or relay teams of any size. Entrants can decide on the distance they wish to ride – from five miles through to the entire 262-mile circular route which starts and ends in Lincolnshire.
As well as time in the saddle, there will be a strong social theme with frequent refreshment stops, daily pub lunches, and evening social events.
The Trust helps young people in the UK and all over world participate in sport in order to change lives for the better. It is named after NIAB agronomist Patrick Stephenson’s son Rob, who died in a road traffic accident in 2016. The Trust was set up by Rob’s brother Sam, who runs it with his parents Patrick and Nicki. The Rob Stephenson Trust has raised a remarkable £125,000 in just two years.
Event organiser Andrew Watson, Eastern Regional Agronomist and Head of Technical Services at NIAB, said: “The 3 Plots Challenge started as a spark of an idea for a few keen NIAB staff to have fun and also raise money for the Rob Stephenson Trust. However, the response across UK agriculture to the event has been remarkable.
“Many corporate supporters and their staff have volunteered, setting aside commercial rivalry to come together around the ethos of the Trust – to enjoy sport and have fun.
“The farming grapevine is in overdrive, with individual and team enquiries coming in daily. We already have over 50 riders pre-registered even before the formal event launch and I’m expecting about 100 riders to get involved on the weekend rides alone. I am truly amazed how many individuals and teams plan to do the whole route.
“It shows the deep strength of the UK agriculture sector to come together so selflessly for the Stephenson family and the Trust. It has been a humbling experience.”
To raise money for the Trust, individual riders and teams are asked to donate a set fee depending on the number of miles they plan to cover. Riders can also use a personal sponsorship form to raise money, while those wishing to support the event but unable to take part are encouraged to donate at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/3PlotsChallenge.