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Smallholder and Garden Festival

PUBLISHED: 14:37 23 May 2008 | UPDATED: 08:25 28 March 2014

Assistant Greta Harris with a Giant Brahma cockerel

Assistant Greta Harris with a Giant Brahma cockerel

CS editor Simon McEwan joined thousands of visitors at this year’s show.

CS editor Simon McEwan joined thousands of visitors at this year’s show.



More than 23,000 visitors attended the Smallholder and Garden Festival in Wales on May 17 and 18, confirming the huge popularity of the event.


This was the eighth festival to be staged by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society at Builth Wells. Company Secretary Barrie Jones said: “We have had numerous positive comments from visitors who praised the organisation of the festival and the variety of attractions on show. It ran smoothly, was enjoyed by everyone and was again highly successful.”



The festival included classes for livestock, a Green Horizons exhibition, a vintage machinery display, a dog show with more than 1,000 entries, and a Celtic dance festival. Displays in the Floral Hall, together with a wide range of garden, agricultural, food and craft stands and a full programme of family entertainment, made up the winning formula of the event. Visitors could also listen to lectures and presentations and participate in question and answer sessions on a variety of smallholding, horticultural, environmental and countryside issues.



CS columnist Tim Tyne gave a presentation on Practical Shepherding Skills, which drew a large audience, and copies of the magazine were snapped up afterwards


An inventions competition introduced last year to test the ingenuity of smallholders in designing a piece of practical equipment for use on the farm was won by James Healey of Gwenddwr, Builth Wells, for his ‘woolly warmer’, a device for keeping newborn or weak lambs warm. Another new initiative, the Smallholder Pentathlon competition, in which entrants had to demonstrate their abilities at five different tasks, including driving an All Terrain Vehicle and completing a number of countryside skills, was won by James’ father, Robert.



The prize for the best sheep breed trade stand went to the Jacob Sheep Society and the Welsh Black Cattle Society won the competition for the best promotional stand open to native breeds of cattle, as well as the cow and calf/maiden heifer competitions.


In the competitive trade stand section in the Floral Hall the champion Best in Show and Large Gold Medal Diploma was won by Rebekah’s Old Fashioned/Unusual Veg Seed display of Nelson, Lancashire, with P & J Plants of Madley, Herefordshire, standing reserve. A Gold Medal Diploma for competitive gardens was won by Neath Port Talbot College.



Next year’s festival will be held on May 16 and 17. More details will be posted on the RWAS website – www.rwas.co.uk


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