Clinton Devon Estates cyclists clock-up the miles for Exeter cancer charity

A 14-strong team from Clinton Devon Estates will clock-up a combined total of 1220 miles to raise money for Exeter cancer charity Force when they get on their bikes for The Nello 2016 this weekend (June 26 2016).


Clinton Devon Estates cyclists clock-up the miles for Exeter cancer charity

Over the past few months, the group of staff, business associates and family have been in training for one of Devon’s biggest sporting challenges, on the road, in the gym and under the guidance of personal trainer Neil Eriksen. They aim to raise £3000 for FORCE.

Ten of the cyclists will tackle the one hundred-mile circular route; from Topsham Rugby Club to Exmoor via Exeter city centre and four will cycle the shorter 55-mile circuit. 

John Varley, Estates Director at Clinton Devon Estates and one of the team taking part, said: “Cancer affects so many people within the community and riding the Nello bike challenge is a great way of supporting this excellent local charity.

“We already have a number of keen cyclists among the Clinton Devon Estates staff, so this is the perfect opportunity for them to get together as a team to raise as much money as we can.”

Founded in 1987, Force provides professional support and information to anyone who has been affected by cancer. For almost thirty years the charity has been funding local research and buying essential equipment to improve patient care.

Coach Neil Eriksen from Smile Fitness, said: “Originally I thought 100 miles on a bike would be much easier than running a marathon or a similar endurance event, but now after months of training on a bike I can say it certainly isn’t! There are so many muscles that tire out over the hours which is why it’s so crucial that everyone training rides progressively up to the full distance.”

Iestyn John, a Clinton Devon Estates associate, said: “I’ve focused my training on riding a range of distances as well as the commute to work which also supports Clinton Devon’s sustainability ethos. I’ve done lots of mountain biking and running, but never an event like this so I’m a little nervous about what the end of the 55 miles will feel like. Sore, I expect!”

FORCE works in collaboration with the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and in 2004 opened a cancer Support and Information Centre to provide physical, emotional, psychological and practical support for people at a difficult time in their lives.

Head of Fundraising at FORCE Cancer Charity, Sarah Daniels, said: “We are here to help, whatever the cancer and wherever people are on their cancer journey. Our Support Centre offers a relaxed and comfortable setting where patients, their families and friends can get information advice and help.

“None of what we do would be possible without the generous support of local people, who support us in so many ways – with donations, by taking part in fundraising events like the Nello, organising their own fundraises of giving their time as a volunteer.”

Gaynor Hayne, Assistant Accountant, said: “I’ve been cycling for about a year now as a way to keep fit and the Nello gave me a goal to aim for. I train three times a week, mostly around Exmouth but I’ve recently been to Dawlish Warren and back to build up the miles. I’ve never done anything like this before and I’m very nervous about it!”

Estates Surveyor, Adrian Pitts, said: “This will be my 13th year of riding the Nello hundred-mile cycle. I’m trying to cycle three times a week which totals as about 80miles per week.”  

In 2013 Clinton Devon Estates entered a team for the Commando Challenge in Lympstone raising nearly £3,000 for local charities.

The team includes Lord Clinton’s Grandson Edward Fane-Trefusis, Estates Director John Varley, Executive Assistant to Estates Director Fiona Harker and her husband Richie, Head of Forestry and Environmental Economy John Wilding and his wife Nina, Estates Surveyor Adrian Pitts, Planning Advisor to the Estate from Bell Cornwell Iestyn John, Personal Trainer Neil Eriksen, Estates Gamekeeper Kevin Brosnan, Management Accountant Mike Phillips, Trainee Land Agent Jack Harley, Farm Worker Darren Pearce, Maintenance Contractor Colin Newell and Assistant Accountant Gaynor Hayne.  

To show your support for FORCE Cancer Charity and the team at Clinton Devon Estates, please visit the Clinton Devon Estates Virgin Giving page.

The Nello 2016 bike ride will take place on Sunday 26th June 2016. The hundred-mile pedal will set off from Topsham Rugby Club at 8am, shortly followed by the 55-mile ride at 8.30am.

For more information on Clinton Devon Estates visit To find out more about FORCE Cancer Charity visit their website and for specific details on The Nello 2016 bike ride visit

to set out against the Scots, the King’s enemies and rebels

– Instructions given by Edward 1 to John de Clinton on 8th April 1298, prior to him leading the Royal army to victory at the Battle of Falkirk. As a direct result the Clinton Barony was formed on 22nd July 1299

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

…and the Lord Clinton was, by the whole Council, brought to the King’s presence, who after like thanks was given, was pleased that he should be made High Admiral of England and one of his Privy Council…

– Official record of appointment of 9th Baron Clinton as Lord High Admiral for life on 4th May 1550

Do what you can to elevate your profession. It is an honourable one

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892