Norfolk smallholders fair at Holt Hall

An unpredictable year with the weather has had a knock-on effect on smallholders was the message coming from an event held in north Norfolk over the weekend.

The Norfolk Smallholders Training Group held their sixth annual show at Holt Hall on Sunday which included everything to represent smallholding, self sufficiency and traditional crafts.

The event was moved from its usual location at Sheringham Park to accommodate more car parking space.

As well as home produced Norfolk food and goods, exhibitions and demonstrations, sheep shearing and a dog show, there was also a livestock and members' poultry exhibition and a smallholder's question time.

Speaking about how smallholders had fared so far this year, Chris Snell, secretary of the training group, said: 'People have been saying turkeys are not laying eggs and those that are, are not hatching well. It has also been a bad year for peas. It has rained at the wrong time, if you got your potatoes in early you were very lucky, but if you left it too late, they are not doing well at all.'

Brian Filby, who along with family members runs Groveland Farms based in Felbrigg and Roughton, said the weather had in fact helped them, but now they needed sunnier spells.

He said: 'It has been a good growing season, because we have had rain, we have not needed to irrigate but now we need it stop to get the things off the field. We need good weather for things like strawberries and apples.'

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