'Ard Rock Donates £50,000 to Flooded Swaledale Community

Sep 20, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Steve charges the hillside eager to take the category win but he d be taking more than that
Steve Peat riding at 'Ard Rock in 2018

'Ard Rock Festival's organisers have donated £50,000 to help the communities affected by the flash flooding that led to the race being cancelled.

The floods caused considerable damage to the local communities of Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale, however the event organisers were quick to mobilise to raise money for the affected areas. They raffled off a Santa Cruz Megatower CC and started up a GoFundMe page where people could donate to the Swaledale community. This week, just over a month since the fundraising started, they were able to donate £48,655 to the Two Ridings Community Foundation, the biggest donation it has received to date.

Richmondshire Today reports that the donation will be used to ensure that the families, farms and small businesses affected in Swaledale and Arkengarthdale have long-term support to help them recover from the effects of flooding. This includes awards to the parish councils as well as payments to residents to help them with the costs of temporary accommodation, running dehumidifiers or replacing items such as white goods and essential furniture. The fund will also support local farm businesses in hardship.

The flooding that caused the cancellation of 'Ard Rock this year

Apparently £30,000 of the grant has already been pledged to Akrengarthdale, Reeth and Grinton Parish Councils to assist them with immediate repair work on severely damaged land to protect properties and businesses.

Joe Rafferty, from Ard Rock, said: “Swaledale and Arkengarthdale have been the host of Ard Rock for seven years now, and the valleys and beautiful scenery have given us all so many good times and special memories. On behalf of all the Ard Rock participants and the mountain bike community, we are delighted that the funds we raised will help the local community recover. We would also like to thank the Two Ridings Community Foundation for managing our donation and their hard work so far, we have full confidence that they will ensure that it is used in the best possible way.

Jan Garrill, chief executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation, said: “The donation from Ard Rock reflects the special place this community has for all the people involved in the Ard Rock event. We will ensure that the Fund’s donation is used to help people in the affected area get back on their feet again. But in the meantime, the Dales are open for business as usual, so do continue to visit and support our amazing community”.


  • 26 1
 Imagine the next time one of the residents comes across an mtb rider and instead of saying "gid orff me laaaand!" they stop and think "hang on, these guys donated £50,000 to our community after the floods... Hey mate, when you finished your ride, pop in for a cuppa!" And imagine if this scenario was repeated nation wide, where cyclists were seen as allies and assets, rather than a nuisance...
  • 19 0
 Wishful thinking, but once a dog walker always a dog walker
  • 5 1
 To be fair to the locals up there they are quite welcoming if you're respectful to them.
  • 10 3
 @Davec85 How dare they expect to exercise their pets in our countryside.
Remember to leave some empty Red Bull cans and sweetie wrappers to mark your territory.
  • 6 0
 @Steventux: I'll leave them next to the plastic bags of dog shit, everyone's a winner then.
  • 1 0
 @Davec85: I walk my dog on my bike...mind blown
  • 20 1
 The MTB community never ceases to amaze me.
  • 2 0
 Sorry, meant to upvote. Turning a negative in to a positive for a community is very commendable. A credit to mtb'ers everywhere.
  • 7 0
 “Are Rock Festival's organisers have donated £50,000” isn’t it the MTB community who have donated this amount?
  • 6 0
 I was defo trying to win the bìke, money to a good cause was the cherry in top.
  • 4 0
 Good on you all! Thanks for the great example and reminder to help out when and where you can.
  • 3 0
 that is pretty amazing

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