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Farmer to drive combine harvester from Wimbledon Common to Dorchester
A WEST Dorset farmer is taking to the road in a vehicle more commonly seen in fields – and the stunt is all for a good cause.
Judi James will be driving her bright pink combine harvester more than 100 miles from Wimbledon Common in London to Dorset to raise money for the Breast Cancer Campaign.
Judi, 54, hit the headlines earlier this year after being shortlisted for the Sexiest Farmer awards, and said she wanted to ‘give something back’ after a number of people close to her had experienced the disease.
The journey, which she will begin on June 9, is expected to take up to three days to complete.
She said: “I wanted to do something that was fun, a little bit different, and would get a lot of attention.
“Not many women tend to drive combines and I only learned myself last year, so it will be a challenge.
“And why not go the whole way and deck it out in bright pink colours?”
The route will take her through her home town of Guildford, Farnham and Basingstoke, before she reaches Yeovil via the A303.
She will drive the combine to Dorchester on the A37 and then to the Bridehead Estate.
Judi added: “Obviously I’ll be avoiding the motorways and apologies in advance to anyone that gets stuck behind me but it’s all in aid of a good cause.”
The farmer, who runs an RSPCA Freedom Foods veal production unit alongside her farming duties, was crowned UK Worker of the Year in 2013 and has spoken of her wish to inspire more women to get involved in farming and to raise money for breast cancer charities.
She said: “It is something that affects a lot of people and the charity does such good work.
“I didn’t start farming until I was 47 and got promoted to driving the combine last year.
“It came to me in a sort of lightbulb moment that this would be a great fundraiser.”
She added: “I am really looking forward to the challenge now. Obviously there has been a lot of preparation and I have to say thank you to a lot of people, including my son who was my chief navigator when we did a test-run of the route.”
Sponsor Judi by visiting justgiving.com/judijamescombine harvesterchallenge
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