Royal Norfolk Show 2017: Visitors keep smiling at show as weather improves following nearly three inches of rain
- Credit: Ian Burt
Weather conditions are improving for tens of thousands of visitors to the Royal Norfolk Show.
Estimates are that more than 70mm of rain (2.75 inches) has fallen on the Costessey showground since Tuesday afternoon but the worst seems to have past.
Contingency measures are in place in case of weather-related issues, especially as showgoers leave at he end of the day.
The RAF Falcons Parachute Freefall Display Team had to cancel their morning show due to low cloud but they are still due to come in for their teatime display at 6.20pm. A decision is due to be made on whether it can go ahead at 3pm.
Show director Mark Nicholas said that despite the weather, the number of visitors this year was still in-line with expectations. Around 80,000 are due to attend the two-day event.
He said: “Despite the weather there are a lot of smiles and there are a lot of happy people here enjoying the show.”
The main concern is car parks cutting up and bark is being used and teams will do clean up work in areas which may get flooded.
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Large vehicles are on standby around the showground if lorries and cars get stuck.
Mr Nicholas said there had been some issues with horse boxes getting stuck in the mud, but they were assisted by tractors.
He added that there still plenty of bark and tractors on standby to assist with any issues at the end of the show.
“We are monitoring the situation and we will continue to do so for the rest of the day,” he said. “We have a big team out and will do all we can to ensure people’s exit from the show is a smooth process.”
The showground drains well and the ground has been very dry after the long period without significant rain fall.
Temperatures on the first day of the show should be around 17-18C and the afternoon should be dry, but grey, with only a 10pc chance of rain after 2pm.
Wind will stay light with speeds of between 6mph and 11mph, with gusts of up to 21mph predicted later this evening.
Meanwhile, it is forecast to be a dry start on day two on Thursday with a chance of showers in the afternoon and temperatures reaching 21C.
Security levels are higher in the light of recent terrorist attacks and visitors have been warned their bags could be searched.
At the Dereham gate there are large sand bags which have been placed to stop vehicles going through.
Around 80,000 people are expected to visit the 155th Royal Norfolk Show.
And with organisers promising this year’s event to feature one of the most varied programmes yet, it is no surprise.
The event features everything from parachute displays to livestock competitions.
But there will also be some new additions for 2017.
Mr Nicholas said they include a new Forestry and Wood Village, which will showcase the skills needed in the trade, a “significant” revamp of the retail area, and the introduction of the prestigious Red Poll cattle national show.
Mr Nicholas said this year’s event is made up of three themes: Food, farming and the countryside, innovation and enterprise, and celebrating the arts.
He added: “I think what we have this year is a unique blend of these three themes.
“The show is a superb platform for celebrating the very best of Norfolk.”
Once again, the grand ring is hosting a series of action-packed displays, and topping the bill this year is the 80-strong King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, which will be demonstrating its impressive riding skills.
The show is famous for its livestock competitions, and this year will be no different with almost 3,000 animals being judged. They range from famous breeds of cattle, sheep, goats and poultry.
Meanwhile, food and drink lovers will have the chance to try products from more than 80 local producers at the Adnams Food and Drink Experience.