TRACTORS are a familiar sight on the roads and lanes of Monmouthshire - but coming across more than 60 of them in a procession is to say the least, unusual.

That is what greeted motorists in the county and beyond today however, as a special fundraising event took place in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance, and in memory of a popular Usk teenager who died in a road accident last year.

Ashley Thomas was just 19 when he died following a crash in Groesonen Road in Dingestow, last December 27.

In the aftermath of the apprentice mechanic's death, his heartbroken mum Olwyn and other family members began to raise money in aid of the Wales Air Ambulance Charity.

Almost a year after his tragic death, their efforts - and those of countless businesses and individuals who have got involved and made donations - have raised more than £11,000, including the £1,200 raised through the tractor run.

Today's event began at the Hall Inn, in Gwehelog, near Usk, which organised the event to support Mrs Thomas' fundraising efforts.

Tractors were crammed into the car park before their drivers took them onto the roads, and there was a raffle and a competition for the best dressed tractor.

"It was fun and it was a fantastic day, and Ashley would have loved it - it was something he always wanted to do," said Mrs Thomas, who lives in Usk.

"I'd like to thank Stuart and Steph Savidge at the Hall Inn, and Tom Preece for organising it.

"They came to me and asked if they could do it, and we got 61 entries, which was amazing.

"It's nice because Ashley used to go to the Hall Inn with the Young Farmers."

Mrs Thomas' sister and Ashley's aunt Wendy Thomas, said those who had taken part had done Ashley proud.

"He would have loved this. It's been amazing, the support we've had, but that's been the case all through the year.

"It's been hard and we miss him every day, but this has really helped us because after Ashley died, we didn't know how we were going to move forward."