Climb every mountain for charity

PUBLISHED: 09:09 17 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:02 22 October 2010

Three members of Reepham Rotary Club will be climbing every mountain this weekend to raise cash for East Anglia's Children's Hospices. Just a tenth of the charity's £4.

Three members of Reepham Rotary Club will be climbing every mountain this weekend to raise cash for East Anglia's Children's Hospices. Just a tenth of the charity's £4.7m annual running costs come from statutory sources, leaving a huge, continuous fundraising task. So former Norfolk farmers' leader Tony Williams, Gareth Homfray-Davies and Ian Malton aim to walk an estimated 42km, climbing 3.4km and tackling the three highest peaks in Scotland, Wales and England, in 24 hours. The team of a councillor, building restorer and architect will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon. All expenses are being met by themselves and club members, so everything will go directly to the charity.

Cricket resumes in the Waveney Valley tomorrow at the Old Rectory, St Margaret South Elmham. The opening day of the Suffolk community's cricket festival is the inter-village competition for the Pat Gibson Shield. The second match on Wednesday (6pm) is the annual duel between the NFU and Waveney Harriers. Then on Saturday, June 24 (4pm) there's St Margaret v Rumburgh. The final matches on Sunday, June 25, starting at 10.45am, involve the triangular competition between the NFU, Durrants and a mystery team.

Pig producers are welcome at the next meeting of the county's discussion group on Tuesday, June 27 (2pm) for a talk entitled Is Recording Bad for Your Health? Speakers are veterinary surgeons Ian Dennis, Susan Walpole and John Mackinnon, with Andrew Knowles, of the British Pig Executive. The venue is Bateman Barn at South Elmham Hall, which is just off the B1062. Refreshments provided. If you wish to attend, call Oakwood Veterinary Group on 01379 852146.

Three special gardens will be open this weekend for the National Gardens Scheme. Tomorrow, two gardens near North Walsham are open: Rivermount, in Hall Lane, Knapton (11am-5pm), and Hill Cottage, Edingthorpe, the quint-essential English cottage garden, with every nook and cranny filled with interesting and unusual plants. The scent from the Eleagnus Quicksilver is wonderful at the moment. Finally in Breckland, Wretham Lodge at East Wretham

(2-5pm) celebrates opening 20 years for the scheme. The roses are in full bloom now and look stunning.

Friends of the John Innes Centre just outside Norwich are to spend an evening on the farm. Scientists and researchers will welcome visitors on Wednesday from 6pm. Take a break from the World Cup, come and celebrate England winning Group B and progressing to the next stage and join what is now traditionally (after one year!) the most glorious British summer's evening of the year at Church Farm, Bawburgh, to find out about research and field trials on broad-spectrum resistance to several diseases of wheat. Other topics include Wheat Straw - the Long and the Short of It, and Back and Forth in the Search for Traits. The event ends at about 8pm with refreshments. Please let Dee Rawsthorne know by fax 01603 450016 or on 01603 450528.

Four West Norfolk churches are included in the latest monthly tour, which takes place tomorrow afternoon. The Norfolk Church Tours, organised by the late Richard Butler Stoney, of Mileham, between 1970 and 2003, have been continued by his sons. The visiting party assemble at Wereham at 2.30pm before continuing to Stradsett, Fincham and finally Marham. The next tour, which takes place on July 16, starts at Hethersett, also at 2.30pm, and includes the Swainsthorpe round-tower church. Next gathering of the Round Tower Churches Society, which is on July 1, starts across the county border at Bramfield, also at 2.30pm.

A service of thanksgiving for the life of North Norfolk landowner Ian MacNicol will be held at Norwich Cathedral on Monday, July 10 (2.30pm). Given his national and regional contibution to the farming industry, it was thought that his many friends and professional colleagues would like to attend. It follows the private funeral at St Mary's Church, Stody, which takes place on Monday (3pm.) It is sad that, only days ago, Mr MacNicol and Norfolk farm business specialist David Bolton, became liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Farmers in London.

One of the largest reconstruction projects of a historic deer park, at Gunton Park, near Aylsham, will be the focus of attention for members of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association in a private visit next week. Kit and Sally Martin bought the core of the estate in 1980 and evolved a revival plan that included rescuing the derelict shell of the house. The other big challenge was restoring the park, which with neighbours Ivor Braka and Charles Harbord Hamond has been turned into a replanted landscape home to about 1000 red and fallow deer. The Queen Mother visited the park in 1990 and was impressed by the restoration efforts.

In the best tradition of making the judges of the 27th Norfolk Farm Business competition earn their supper, the organisers of Aylsham Agricultural Show Association will start tomorrow. With a total of eight entries for the championship class, Chris Self has asked the visiting judges from Suffolk to start after lunch. They will visit Robert Mitchell at Blickling and Jimmy Fowell's farm at nearby Itteringham and then tackle the other six entries on the next two days. Then, after the formal welcome dinner, sponsored by Barclays Agricultural Banking - when they join the judges of the other classes - the judging proper will start on Monday morning.

One wonders why the organisers of Cereals, the biggest single event in the arable sector, couldn't find some home-produced sugar. The RASE managed to welcome guests with sachets of Tate & Lyle sugar. Well-known sugar beet adviser Mike May, of Broom's Barn, who was on the nearby British Beet Research Organ-isation's stand, was not amused. He promised to source some Silver Spoon and give it to the society.

Traffic arrangements for visitors to Cereals were their usual shambolic standard as several farmers, particularly from Norfolk, wondered if staff from the Rural Payments Agency had voluntered to spend a day in the country and run the event! Why a steward or police officer was not positioned to allow traffic travelling up the A15 from Sleaford to turn right into the approach road to Nocton site remains a puzzle. As a result, there were lengthy queues, and it took about 35 minutes to travel the last couple of miles. At least your diarist, who was following Kevin Bowes with his distinctive vehicle, K8OWES, was then able to chat to Ben Turner, of agricultural engineers Ben Burgess & Co, as he stuttered to a halt in his car.

Award-winning beet grower Ed Lankfer was in a good form at Cereals. Ed is preparing to welcome fellow members of the Stoke Ferry Agricultural Society to his farm at Wereham, within sight of Wissington beet sugar factory, on Tuesday evening. No doubt he will be wearing the same rather dashing shorts and Australian bush hat that looked rather out of place in the early-morning gloom at Nocton, near Lincoln.

A generous gift from Breckland Farmers will get the Norfolk Farmers' Ball off to a flying start next Friday. For several years a group of farming friends helped to raise thousands of pounds for local good causes with a harvest hog roast in a field opposite the Chequers at Thompson. One of the leading members, Ian Robertson, of Green Farm, Thompson, and his fellow committee members decided to wind up the informal group by giving the £1800 funds to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.

Crufts commentator and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves will be master of ceremonies for the new All About Dogs event at Notcutts Garden Centre, in Daniels Road, Norwich, on Thursday, August 3. Helping Peter to draw the crowds are two very special doggie celebrities: Wellard and Terrence from EastEnders. Entry to the fun-packed day for dog-lovers is £2 for adults, accompanied children free, with £1 going to the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

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