Sunday, 05 December 2021

Return of farming show just in time

Return of farming show just in time

THE organiser of the Henley Farm & Country Show says it was vital that it returned this year to ensure its future.

The event will take place at the Henley Showground in Marlow Road tomorrow (Saturday) after being cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jo Taylor, secretary of the Henley and District Agricultural Association and show manager, said she was afraid that if another year had been lost it could have put the future of the show in doubt.

She said: “It is essential that it happens this year, not only for the farming community but also for the public. Our remit is to educate the public on all the things that make up farming.

“I felt very strongly that if we didn’t go ahead this year we might lose the momentum we have and may have gone the same route as other shows that are no more.

“With the last 18 months being so unpleasant, it is really important that people can en masse to be out in the fresh air.”

Attractions include displays of livestock, such as cattle, sheep and pigs, more than 150 classic cars and vintage tractors, showjumping, traditional fairground rides and a companion dog show,

There will also be gun dog, falconry and heavy horse displays while Richard Savory and his Sheep Show and the giant tortoises from the Seychelles will return.

The poultry tent will have a large variety of chickens and ducks and the horticulture tent will have experts available to answer gardening questions.

There will also be a craft and shopping area and a food and wine market.

Mrs Taylor said there had been some changes to the layout of the showground to ensure people felt comfortable in the wake of the pandemic.

There will be hand sanitiser stations across the site and visitors will be asked to wear masks in enclosed spaces.

Mrs Taylor said: “We haven’t got the produce marquee but we are still expecting some giant vegetables. They will be on display outside.

“Our food and wine area is like a food and wine market with more than 30 stalls with their own gazebos and the dog show is running as usual with entries being accepted on the day.

“We have had some really good entries in the cattle and sheep classes and there are new breeds of cattle we haven’t seen at the show for many years. We have also got pigs for the first time.

“We have all missed it — there is nothing nicer for me than looking out of my tent at the show and seeing people having a really good time and I am really looking forward to that. I’m just praying for good weather.”

The gates will open at 8.30am and the show ends at 5pm.There will be a free car park adjacent to the showground and free buses will run to and from outside Boots in Bells Street, Henley, from 9am to 5.30pm. Well-behaved dogs on a lead are welcome.

Entry costs £15 for adults (concessions £10), children under go free if accompanied by an adult. Cash and card payments are accepted on the gate.

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