THE fields in North Petherton have been blessed after a vicar drove a tractor through them to mark the start of the agricultural year.

The Rev Jane Haslam agreed to give tractor driving at Huntworth Farm a go to raise funds for the farming charity, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI).

Local farmer Gary Bagg, owner of Huntworth Farm, helped the vicar get to grips with the controls and start driving through his field.

The Rev Haslam said: “It was fabulous, or at least I thought so. Even going 10kmph felt scary when you’re that high up. Going forward I was okay – reversing not so much.

“The RABI does a lot to support farmers in these floods so I thought I could help them out.

“It was really good fun and I fulfilled a personal ambition.”

Pam Wills, regional manager for RABI, said: “Despite the good summer, 2013 was still a difficult year for farming, not least because like many in Somerset, farmers were still trying to cope with the financial losses which resulted from 2012’s floods and animal disease such as bTB. The recent floods have only added to many people’s existing problems.”