September 1 2014 Latest news:
By MICHAEL POLLITT, Agricultural editor
Saturday, January 26, 2013
A bright and seasonal theme has been picked by organisers of the 14th annual EDP Spring Fling at the Norfolk showground.
The ticket price for the event on Wednesday, April 10 for youngsters aged between four and 14 has been pegged at £7.50 per head.
With the theme, “Spring Greens,” the event hopes to encourage visitors to learn about food, farming and the countryside.
Since the first Spring Fling was staged in 2000 by the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association, it has grown gradually and last April attracted about 5,100 youngsters and parents.
The combination of food and fun and the opportunity to take part in plenty of “hands-on” activities has proved to be a winning formula over the years.
A chance to take a tractor-and-trailer ride around the Norfolk showground is also another highlight. Last April, the volunteer drivers had 5,744 passengers. One member of the team, Ken Leggett said that many youngsters went back for a second and even a third tractor-and-trailer ride!
The showground’s Norfolk Arena will be the centre for visitors and the majority of more than 60 different exhibits, which will feature demonstrations by members of Ladies in Pigs to Norfolk Young Farmers and members of the Women’s Institutes.
There will be displays of farm animals and poultry including chicks hatching and turkey poults from Bernard Matthews, which enabled many youngsters to hold a newly-hatched turkey.
The Lilwall’s hog roast, part of the all-inclusive entry price with Aspall’s apple juice, is another hugely-popular part of the event. Mid-Norfolk farmer Richard Lilwall and wife Debbie and their helpers served in two hours more than 5,500 visitors, stewards, helpers and showground staff. There is also a vegetarian option.
The Spring Fling’s countryside area will also include working displays by sheepdogs and other dogs and birds of prey. The ever-popular demonstration of reed dressing by a team from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust is returning. Pigs, cattle, sheep and horses, of all ages and size, will be on display too.
Organisers have brought together all the displays into one area of the showground and most will be under cover in case of inclement weather. A new route for the tractor-and-trailer rides is planned.
The event runs between 9.30am and 3.30pm. All visitors must obtain a ticket in advance. No tickets will be available on the gate. All children and adults must have a ticket. While there is free entry for children aged under two in a family group, food and drink is not included. Parking is free.
Tickets, strictly limited, cost £7.50 each, from the EDP’s offices at Prospect House, Norwich and our network of branch offices at Beccles, Cromer, Dereham, Diss, Fakenham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Our offices are closed on Saturdays.
Tickets can be obtained from the RNAA, either online or for personal collection. There is a £2.50 charge for card applications. Telephone 01603 748931 (9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday).
Norfolk entrepreneur Stephen Pitkethly will be realising his father-in-law’s dream when he launches an innovative craft at the Southampton Boat Show next month.