Charity event cancelled after land fee

ONE of the region's fastest-growing charity events has been cancelled after the son of the controversial "Aussie" Earl of Stradbroke demanded £1,000 to use his family's land.

ONE of East Anglia's fastest-growing charity events has been cancelled after the son of the controversial Earl of Stradbroke demanded £1,000 to use his land.

Organisers of the East Suffolk Tractor Road Run said they were dismayed after 19-year-old Henham Rous, of Henham Hall Estate, near Southwold, said he planned to charge them to begin the rally from his land.

The popular event, which has started from the estate for the last four years without any fee, was due to be held on May 4. The proceeds would have gone to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

But after months of preparations, the organisers have abandoned this year's event, saying they could not find another suitable site at short notice.

Henham Rous, fifth son of the Australian earl said the decision to implement the charge was taken "in the best interests of the estate" after amicable conversations between the parties.

He said: "We are disappointed with the way things have panned out. But at the end of the day each party had to do what was in its best interests."

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But Dennis Garbutt, of Oulton Broad, who helped organise the rally, said he was "gutted" a solution could not be found in time to save this year's event.

Up to 90 vintage tractors were expected to take part in the 20-mile rally. It is believed more than £12,000 has been raised for charity since the event began

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