Comment: Packed year ahead at Great Yorkshire Showground

Charles Mills, honorary show director at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
Charles Mills, honorary show director at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.
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A very Happy New Year from all of us at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

After a busy and successful 2017, we are very much looking forward to a special 2018 with plenty planned for the public and the farming community as well as a celebration of a big milestone.

Health and support for the farming community is at the top of our agenda and we are building on strong foundations laid by our network co-ordinator Kate Dale in driving this forward.

We’ve had farmer health checks at this week’s Ripon Farm Services event at the Yorkshire Event Centre and everyone is welcome to enjoy the Plough Service at Ripon Cathedral tomorrow (Sunday, January 14).

Refreshments from 2.30pm, with the service starting at 3.30pm led by guest speaker Adam Bedford, regional director for the North East branch of the National Farmers’ Union.

More farmer health checks are planned for the coming months, these are free and available to all farmers who don’t have time to get checked out at the doctors.

The next will be on Wednesday, February 7 at Yorkshire Agricultural Machinery Show, Murton, York from 11am to 1.30pm.

Education is also an important part of the work of the society. Not only do we run a range of courses for teachers on the showground, we also host free Countryside Days for 6,000 primary schoolchildren to learn more about farming, food and rural life.

Some may never have even seen a farm animal before and it gives us the chance to tell the story of why our countryside looks so beautiful and how food gets from field to plate. These are always oversubscribed and are held in June.

Our education team is also behind the very successful Springtime Live which will start the Easter Holidays nicely when it’s held on Easter Saturday, March 31.

This is very much aimed at children with plenty of hands-on activities, workshops and of course lots of animals to stroke and see.

Mr Bloom from CBeebies and his band will be back by popular demand. There’ll be plenty of workshops and activities; look out for more information in the next few weeks.

Due to its popularity, Springtime Live tickets are limited and must be booked in advance but once you’re in the showground, all activities and workshops are free.

Tickets will be on sale on February 1.

Another date for your diary has to be the Great Yorkshire Show which this year is celebrating a very special anniversary as we are set to host the 160th edition from Tuesday, July 10 to Thursday, July 12.

We are so proud to host the show which is steeped in tradition and welcomes over 130,000 visitors into the showground over three days.

We will be celebrating 160 shows since the very first one in 1838 (there were several cancellations due to war or disease) as well as hosting some very special surprises which will be on the showground for the first time ever.

We really want to celebrate the show’s milestone, its history and the support it’s had from the public and the farming industry over generations.

All will be revealed in the coming months.

These are just a few things planned for the next six months. We are sure 2018 is going to be an exciting one!