2017 Wayland Show will mix rural tradition with fun entertainment
- Credit: Archant
One of the country's longest-running agricultural shows will welcome thousands of visitors to Watton today – promising a modern twist to the traditional rural showcase.
The 144th Wayland Agricultural Show returns on August 6 with a programme of summer attractions aiming to entertain and educate families from across the region.
The volunteer-run event, which raises money for local good causes, will showcase countryside industries and pursuits ranging from high-speed motorcycle displays to gun dog demonstrations and sheep racing.
This year sees the welcome return of the cattle competitions, which were temporarily cancelled last year due to isolated outbreaks of bovine tuberculosis close to the showground.
Show chairman Fabian Eagle said the agricultural livestock had always been at the heart of the show during its long history, so organisers were always looking for new ways to get their visitors closer to the animals.
'The big animals are a focal point and it is always nice to see,' he said. 'We want to make it friendly so the public can approach the animals, whether it is sheep, pigs or cattle.
'This year, you can 'have a go' at stock judging. There is a set of cattle in a pen, and there will be people there telling visitors what to look for so the public can go round with a form and have a go at getting them in the same order as the judge on the day.
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'It is another way of getting people to interact with us at the show. We just felt it gives people a little bit more connection, rather than just walking down a row of cattle, they start to understand what the breeders are aspiring to achieve, and what the judges are looking for. It's a real eye-opener.
'We've always said we are one of the oldest one-day shows. But we still want it to be here in the future, so we are trying to keep it rural, but put a modern twist to it.
'By coming to the show, there are three benefits. Not only are our visitors having a great day out, but they are helping to preserve Norfolk's rural heritage, and helping us to give money to local charities.'
WAYLAND SHOW 2017 HIGHLIGHTS
• The Imps Motorcycle Display Team will be one of the main attractions in the Grand Ring, as crowds revel in the sound of revving engines and witness awe-inspiring routines including a fire jump and a human pyramid.
• The Lamb National is a fun 'sheeplechase' featuring hardy Herdwick sheep, a breed known for their agility as they originate from the challenging terrain of the Lake District.
• Other animal fun includes Bob Hogg's sheepdog and duck display and the Mid Norfolk Gun Dogs, while equestrian enthusiasts are well catered for with a dedicated horse section, packed with events ranging from miniature horses to shire horses.
• Visitors can take part in the new family fun dog show, with classes for all breeds of dogs and their owners.
• The Taste of Norfolk Marquee will showcase products from across the county and there are also horticulture and crafts marquees, vintage tractors and classic cars.
• The traditional livestock competitions will see the champion pig, horse, sheep, rabbit, cattle and fowl competing against each other for the unique Champion of Champions title, while the Fur and Feather marquee will show a great selection of unusual breeds.
The Wayland Show takes place from 10am on Sunday August 6 at Brandon Road, Watton. Parking is free. Tickets will be available at the entrance gate. For more information visit the Wayland Show website.