Big success for Spring Fling

A bundle of reeds was the fashion item for youngsters to carry at the latest EDP Spring Fling at the Norfolk showground. The sixth annual event, with a Growing Up theme, attracted a near sell-out crowd of 3900.

A bundle of reeds was the fashion item for youngsters to carry at the latest EDP Spring Fling at the Norfolk showground.

The sixth annual event, with a Growing Up theme, attracted a near sell-out crowd of 3900. There were almost 60 displays and demonstrations about food, farming and the countryside.

Organisers were delighted by the 25pc increase in visitors, who also enjoyed a hog roast lunch and Norfolk apple juice.

“We can say that the Spring Fling has now really grown up. We've had fantastic support from across the county with visitors crowding around the stalls and displays,” said Sarah de Chair, show manager for the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association.


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Displays of hatching chickens and a Silkie hen with seven chicks were hugely popular, said Rolan Axman, of the Norfolk Poultry Club. “We didn't bring any adult poultry because of potential concerns about bird flu, but no one even mentioned it,” he added.

Hundreds of youngsters, aged four to 14, took part in a fun competition to name a six-week pedigree Holstein calf from Julian Taylor's Streamlet herd at Starston, near Harleston. The visitors had a choice of 20 names, but only a handful guessed that the calf was called Julie, he said.

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And one visitor, Rebecca Gruwiler, of Attleborough, enjoyed a special seventh birthday greeting when she met the young calf.

Mr Taylor and colleagues, who supply the East of England Co-op with Exclusively East Anglian milk, milked four cows while colleagues showed how to make yoghurt and cheese.

“We wanted to show that real cows produce real milk from Norfolk and Suffolk. We are becoming a rare breed,” said farmer Tom Crawford, who farms at Topcroft, near Bungay.

Norfolk Women's Institute made strawberry smoothies with fruit grown by Polhouse Nurseries, of Hempnall, near Bungay, They started with 50 litres of milk, but by mid-morning all the home-grown strawberries had been consumed.

“It was absolutely delicious,” said 10-year-old Abby Blake, from Horning, near Stalham.

“We went to Sainsbury's and got a lot of bananas for a knock-down price of £1, so we could keep making smoothies,” said Jennifer Hudson, who was one of the 19-strong team from the Norfolk Federation of WIs.

Seed potatoes and fresh-made mash were also a great hit, said Nick Win-mill, of Greenvale AP. “We handed out hundreds of Charlotte seed potatoes for the youngsters to grow,” said vegetable specialist Paul Corfield.

The extended countryside was also popular and there were constant queues for the tractor and trailer rides to the other end of the showground. dozens of youngsters returned with a bundle of combed reeds from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust stand. David Jones and Maurice Funnell, who is a part-time volunteer at Hickling, tied a record total of more than 600 bundles of reed.

More than 400 youngsters took part in a competition to design a collage out of dried peas and lentils.It was organised by Ray Starling, of the British Edible Pulse Association.

The winners of £20 tokens were - under-six, Krystina Blake, of Rockland St Mary; Under-11, Rachel Barnes, Hemsby First School; under-14, Lyndsey Bird, of Thorpe St Andrew High School.

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