A FRUIT cake sold for an astonishing £300 at a Cumbria farmers' charity auction which raised more than £35,000 for rural causes in the county.

The sale at Borderway Auction Mart, Carlisle, on Friday also saw a pair of Calcutta Cup tickets and a tour of The House of Lords with afternoon tea for four going for £400 apiece, while the promise of dinner at Cartmell’s house in Caldbeck raised £880.

Auction chairman Nick Utting said: “The success of this event really is down to the support that we received from the rural, local community and businesses in the form of items to auction, and from those who dug deep to bid.

"We are absolutely delighted with the tremendous amount raised for our chosen charities. Huge thanks must go the auctioneers and the NFU for their support.”

Businesses supporting the auction included the NFU, Harrison & Hetherington Ltd, The Cumberland and Dumfriesshire Farmers Mart, Longtown, Penrith and District Farmers Mart, Hopes of Wigton and Mitchells at Cockermouth.

The money raised will be donated between Hospice at Home, Life Education Centres, The Farming Community Network, Headway – the brain injury association - and The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution.