AN ANNUAL dung run staged by Tavistock Young Farmers Club will this year be raising funds for the Devon Air Ambulance in memory of a young farmworker who died in a tragic farm accident.

Luke Searle, 17, who was from Meavy, died after being seriously injured while working at a farm near Plympton in June last year. The incident involved a bale-wrapping machine.

An air ambulance was sent to the scene, at Sherwell Farm, along with land ambulance and police and fire crews, just before 7pm. Sadly, despite efforts to save him, he died later that evening. His death is subject to an ongoing investigation by the Heath and Safety Executive and the police.

Luke was a farm apprentice and his brother Will used to be a member of Tavistock Young Farmers, and so Tavistock YFC decided the air ambulance would make a fitting recipient for half the money raised from this year’s dung run.

Tavistock YFC secretary Sophie Bould-Lynch, who organising the dung run in between busy shifts in the lambing shed, explained that they chose a different charity to support each year.

She said: ‘This year, our chosen charity is Devon Air Ambulance because a former member Will’s brother died in a farming accident last year and the air ambulance went to the scene. Everyone in the club is still friendly with Will and we wanted to support the family.

‘For us, being in a rural area, the air ambulance is essential, so it makes sense for us to support it.’

The dung run will take place on Saturday, March 18 and involves delivering dung sourced from local farms being delivered to households in Tavistock and surrounding villages, including Mary Tavy, Peter Tavy, Lamerton, Gulworthy, Meadwell, Chillaton, Buckland Monachorum, Dousland and Yelverton.

The service is a popular one with gardeners in the area, as they get ready for the growing season ahead, and is a great opportunity for the young farmers to help local charities as well as help pay for their social calendar.

The young farmers charge £3 per bag for their dung or four bags for £10 or a bulk load for £60. Anyone in Tavistock can order by calling 07525 789663 or email [email protected]

Sophie said the day was also a great social event in the young farmers club calendar.‘The dung run is very social. On the day we will go and and get fish and chips or sausage and chips and stop and have a break. Everyone has a good time.’ See Tavistock Young Farmers’ Facebook page for full details.