Eighth annual smallholder show at Sheringham Park draws crowds to sheep shearing, alpacas, rare breeds, hawks and owls

Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGS Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGS

Sunday, August 3, 2014
2:59 PM

Sheep shearing, owls, hawks, a shire horse and pig demonstrations were just some of the exhibits drawing the crowds at a smallholders’ show today.

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Freya, eight, and Esme Overall, nine, at Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGSFreya, eight, and Esme Overall, nine, at Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGS

It was the eighth annual Norfolk Smallholders Training Group show, and was hailed a success by organisers, with the hot weather making it a fun day out for families at Sheringham Park.

The show is aimed to celebrate the work of smallholders, educate families about where their food comes from and raise money for equipment shared by the smallholding group.

Bernard Ashe, 60, joined the group eight years ago after he moved his family up to Norfolk to escape the hustle and bustle of London.

The show featured alpacas, goats, a display of poultry breeds and the chance for youngsters to pet the animals.

Lavendar Pekin Banham hen at Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGSLavendar Pekin Banham hen at Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGS

“We try to involve children in the main ring as much as possible,” said Mr Ashe.

Attending the show for the second time was Freya Overall, eight, and her sister Esme, nine, who live in Dilham.

Mum Joanne, 39, a teaching assistant, said the family were interested in keeping animals. She said: “There is so much knowledge at the show and you get to ask questions and learn about smallholding.”

A highlight of this year’s show were the rare breeds of pig which attended for the first time.

Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGSNorfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGS

Basking in the sun under the watchful eye of owner David Cullingham, were a Large Black, Gloucestershire old spot and an Oxford sandy and black.

Mr Cullingham, owner of Broccwood Rare Breeds, said without keepers of rare breeds such as himself, these breed of pig would no longer exist.

He said: “These pigs were what they bred years ago, but after the Second World War they needed to feed more people.”

“There is a big difference in taste, but unfortunately one of the main reasons why they have gone out of popularity is they take too long to grow.”

David Cullington of Broccwood Rare Breeds with his Large Black pig at Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGSDavid Cullington of Broccwood Rare Breeds with his Large Black pig at Norfolk Smallholders Training Group Show. Picture: SABAH MEDDINGS

Today’s show saw the Hawking Experience attend for the first time with the chance for people to hold owls and hawks.

It also featured food stalls, ice cream, fresh lemonade, and the chance to buy plants, flowers, vegetables and farm produce.

The group was formed in the late 1980s by volunteers after the government at the time cut smallholding training courses.

It now has more than 400 members, including people outside of Norfolk, and teaches all skills including beekeeping, sheep care and lambing and cattle husbandry.

Membership costs £12 a year and for more information about courses or joining visit www.nstg.org.uk or call Mr Ashe on 01953 451963.

Are you holding an unusual event? Write to sabah.meddings@archant.co.uk

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