WORMBRIDGE NFU members and friends have produced a calendar in a bid to raise funds for a vital rural charity.

Priced at £5 and featuring Herefordshire farmers and people who work in trades associated with farming, the calendar, which is being sold in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution compares and celebrates present and bygone farming methods, but with a Poldark-esque twist.

Calendar creator, Lesley Whistance said: "The idea for the calendar came from a collection of old agricultural tools in our workshop and an obsession with Poldark. However, I think Aidan Turner has had a run for his money with the gorgeous guys I found, who were finally persuaded to take their shirts off if I could find a good photographer and if the calendars were sold for a good cause."

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), which was founded by Essex farmer John Mechi in 1860 and was granted its Royal Charter by George V in 1935, is a welfare charity which helps farming people in financial difficulty. Support is offered in confidence to people of all ages and includes one-off, emergency or regular payments, as well as the provision of essential household items and disability equipment.

For working farmers, the Institution can also fund relief farm staff to help in a crisis, and is also able to contribute to care home and home-help costs for retired or disabled people.

Regional Manager Kate Jones said: "We spend approximately £2m each year across England and Wales. On a more local level, so far this year we have spent over £40,000 in Herefordshire supporting 26 farming families ranging from their mid 20s to 95. Farming is an unpredictable business and I urge those struggling to call R.A.B.I’s confidential helpline on 0808 281 9490 for advice and support.

"Our work is funded by voluntary donations so I was delighted that the 2019 calendar arranged by Lesley raised £200 for the fundraising pot. The models were great sports and we appreciate their commitment for our cause. Every penny will be used on the local farming community in Herefordshire."

Anyone interested in organising an event in aid of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution is asked to contact Regional Manager, Kate Jones on 07876 492839.

To purchase a copy of the calendar, contact Lesley Whistance by text on 07854412727.