FCN’s Big 25

IMPORTANT UPDATE: following the government’s recent announcement banning social gatherings of more than six people in England, if you are planning a walk in support of FCN’s Big 25 please ensure groups of walkers are no more than six people in total. Multiple groups can set off from the same location, but please ensure individual groups contain no more than six people. 

On 10-11 October, join us in celebrating FCN’s 25th anniversary by taking part in FCN’s Big 25.

We’re asking supporters, friends and family to join us in getting your walking boots on, heading outside and helping us to raise funds to support FCN via our JustGiving page: click here.

For 25 years The Farming Community Network (FCN) has been supporting the farming community and wider industry through difficult times. BSE, Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth, Bluetongue, flooding and more recently Covid-19. Through all these challenges, FCN has been there to walk with those who have needed us the most.

As we have experienced throughout our history, with uncertainty ahead it is widely anticipated that the workload of FCN will increase in the future. On our 25th anniversary year, we’re keen to celebrate everything we have accomplished up to this point.

Covid-19 may have closed many events this year, but that won’t stop us from finding other ways of raising funds to continue the important work that we do. With the support of our dedicated volunteers across England and Wales, we’re making a big splash through FCN’s Big 25 to raise awareness and encourage farmers to reach out to us when they need someone to talk to – whether it’s a big or small issue, we are here for you.

Here are some ways you can help support FCN’s Big 25:

  • Arranging a local walk with friends, family, staff/co-workers in your area on 10-11 October to help raise funds for FCN and recognise our 25 years of supporting the farming community . Let us know where you’re planning on walking and we can promote it on our social media channels
  • Raising awareness of FCN’s Big 25 and sharing this amongst your farming networks and corporate partners
  • Providing thoughts and testimonials about how FCN helps the farming community – email your thoughts to Alex Phillimore (alex@fcn.org.uk) and they will be used to help celebrate our 25th anniversary
  • Donating via the JustGiving page

If you’d like to get involved or have any ideas for supporting FCN’s Big 25, please email Alex Phillimore, Marketing and Communications Manager, on alex@fcn.org.uk for a digital supporter banner. Let us know where you plan on walking on 10-11 October and we’ll help to promote your walk!

Please ensure you are adhering to Government guidelines in your local area when it comes to staying safe. If you are planning a walk, please maintain social distancing and where possible wear a face mask.

Confirmed walks/cycles:

Mid- September

In support of FCN’s Big 25 celebrations, FCN Leicestershire and Rutland volunteer Andrea Beddows holidayed with her family and a friend at Ardgour in the Scottish Highlands. They chose 5 adventurous activities – sea canoeing, trout fishing, crabbing, cycling and swimming – over their 5 day stay and raised £250 for FCN.

Saturday 26th September (organised by Richard Brown, FCN Volunteer)

Richard Brown, Chair of Surrey and Sussex Group, is organising a farm walk on the South Downs for up to 6 members of the Group on 26 September starting at Wilmington.

Thursday 8th October (organised by Mark Thomas, FCN Regional Director (South East)):

  • Kent – Brasted and Greensand Hills

Friday 9th October (organised by Mark Thomas, FCN Regional Director (South East)):

  • West Sussex – Cowdray Park, Midhurst

As series of local walks and bike rides are planned on Saturday 10th / Sunday 11th October by FCN staff and volunteers, including:

  • Jill Hopkinson is walking five miles in her local area
  • Barbara Clutton, FCN Trustee and Warwickshire Volunteer, is doing a mile on her exercise bike
  • Gordon Banks will running ten miles
  • Karen Ellis is planning a walk
  • Glyn Evans (Regional Director Central) is planning a walk spread across both days
  • FCN Volunteer the Rt Rev’d John Stroyan is planning a walk around Draycote Water (5 miles) starting at 11am on Saturday 10th October.
  • Margaret Herbert (Worcs) will be doing a 10 mile walk, down the A38, from Worcester on Saturday 10th
  • Peter Lawrence (Helpline and Worcs Group) will be cycling around the Malvern Hill on Saturday 10th

Saturday 10th October (coordinated by FCN Volunteer Anthony Smith)

  • Start – The Coach House, High Bentham, LA2 7HE
    to St Alkelda’s Church Giggleswick BD24 0BE via Keasden and Eldroth (i.e back roads)
  • Followed by a Service-without-words in church at 12 noon, followed by bring your own lunch and return.

Saturday 10th October (coordinated by FCN Volunteer Lisa Cardy)

FCN volunteers will be walking:

  • White Horse walk:
  • Gormire Lake walk:

Saturday 10th October (organised by Mark Thomas, FCN Regional Director (South East)):

  • Hampshire – New Forest, Frogham

Saturday 10th October (coordinated by FCN Volunteer Harry St John):

  • From North Leigh to Combe, Woodstock and out towards Wootton then westwards along Akeman Street towards Charlbury.

Saturday 10th October (Peter Hardy – Regional Director (Midlands) will be cycling):

Set off from Home – 08:15
To Market Drayton – 15km – arrive 09:00 – Shropshire Rural Support
To Beeston Mart site – 33km – arrive 11:00 – FCN Cheshire /Agchap
To Leek Auction – 56 km – arrive 15:00 – FCN Staffs
To Bakewell Auction – 32 km – arrive 18:00 – FCN Derbys

Saturday 10th October (organised by FCN Staffordshire Group)

Staffordshire FCN plus some YFC members and friends will be doing a walk in the Leek area at 12 noon, hosted by James and Jo Burton, Yew Tree Farm, Cheddleton Heath, Leek.

Sunday 11th October (Peter Hardy – Regional Director (Midlands) will be cycling):

From Bakewell Auction – 09:00 – FCN Derbyshire
To Newark Mart site – 69km – arrive 12:30 – Nottinghamshire Rural Support
To Melton Mowbray Mart – 45km – arrive 15:45 – FCN Leicestershire

Sunday 11th October (organised by Mark Thomas, FCN Regional Director (South East)):

  • Oxfordshire – Charlbury & The Wychwoods (joining Harry St John’s walk)

Sunday 11th October (coordinated by FCN Volunteer Harry St John):

  • From Charlbury, to the Wychwoods and then back to Leafield, via the Wychwood Forest, to Finstock and home to North Leigh.

Monday 12th October (organised by Mark Thomas, FCN Regional Director (South East)):

  • Wiltshire – Ashbury and The Ridgeway

If you would like to take part in walks in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire or Berkshire, please contact Mark Thomas, FCN Regional Director (South East), on mark@fcn.org.uk for more information.

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