Sunshine sensation for Norfolk’s Spring Fling

It was a sunshine sensation at the latest EDP Spring Fling as thousands of youngsters flocked to the Norfolk showground.

A record attendance of more than 5,500 visitors, stewards and stand holders attended the 11th annual spring event, which was jointly organised by the EDP and the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.

Youngsters watched chicks and turkeys hatching and butchers making sausages and a dairy farmer milking cows while an estimated 4,000 youngsters and their parents enjoyed a tractor and trailer ride around the showground.

John Purling, chief executive of the RNAA, said: 'It has been the best ever and the weather was absolutely perfect – warm but not too hot.'

Hog roast specialist Richard Lilwall and his wife, Debbie, led a 26-strong team of servers, who fed more than 5,000 people in just an hour and a half. 'It has gone really well,' said Mr Lilwall, who roasted a total of 10 pigs to feed the visitors.

The fling's 'Love it: Hate it' theme challenged visitors to sample some of the local produce, which included Norfolk Farm House Ice Cream. Farmer Simon Dann, who was making fresh ice cream in the exhibition hall, attracted a large crowd of eager youngsters keen to sample the home-made vanilla.

And south Norfolk goats' cheese maker, Sam Steggles, of Fielding Cottage Goats' Cheese, of Great Ellingham, brought along four week-old kids and plenty of cheese for visitors to taste. It easily won the 'love: hate' taste test by a margin of more than five to one as thousands of samples were handed out. Natasha Easter, of Scarning, near Dereham, who was attending her first Spring Fling, said that her three youngsters, three-year-old Connie, Alfie, aged six, and Campbell, four, all liked the cheese.

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The countryside area was again expanded and David Jenkin, and his team, including Danny Gills, of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, made up more than 800 bundles of reed for the youngsters to take home.

Richard Jewson, president of the RNAA and also chairman of Archant, publisher of the EDP, was delighted to have had the opportunity to take two of his granddaughters to Spring Fling.

He and his wife, Sarah, had enjoyed the hog roast luncheon and also watched one of the dozens of activities, the Sheep Show, which was staged by Mid-Norfolk farmer Richard Savory. 'I've never been to the event before but it has been a great day,' he said.

More pictures on our website and in the EDP later this week.