The countdown is on to the 2008 Kilnsey Show, on Tuesday, August 26 - the biggest one-day agricultural show in the country.
Members of Kilnsey Show's organising committee, with the famous crag in the background - standing, from left, show vice-chairman Simon Butcher, Alistair Davy, Ian Smith and show chairman Robert Lambert. Seated are Steven Crabtree, chairman of Food and Farming for REAL, Christine Ryder and Christine Clarkson.
Kilnsey Show and Sports – this year is the 110th annual event staged in the shadow of the famous Kilnsey Crag, north of Skipton - remains one of the best known of its kind in the northern calendar, attracting exhibitors, competitors and visitors from near and far.
Once again, there will be a host of show classes, support attractions, displays, demonstrations, competitions … and much, much more.
All-day horse events – show jumping, shires, hunters and harness racing – will be supported by displays of vintage tractors and agricultural machinery, a dry stone walling competition, angling demonstrations and birds of prey showpiece.
In addition, a vast array of local produce and handicrafts will fall under the spotlight, plus up to 100 trade stands and some 40 food stalls. The annual Kilnsey Sports include the celebrated – and tortuous - Kilnsey Crag Race.
The Harvesting the Sun Ring, so popular last year, will be in action again in 2008 and is expected to prove a popular attraction. It will feature a parade of sheep and cattle, along with other farm animals and a dog and ducks display. This will also be supported by a hands-on opportunity to smell, feel and touch the animals – a great joy for younger visitors, particularly those from more urban backgrounds.
Harvesting the Sun will again be led by Mike Keeble, a beef and sheep farmer from Wensleydale, who is also a well-known journalist, farming industry and Government advisor, and show commentator.
For lovers of regional foods, a Cookery Theatre will feature demonstrations by leading local chefs Jonny Gilmore, of the Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey, Martin Peachey, Hopper Lane Hotel, Blubberhouses, Jim Rowley, Red Lion Hotel, Burnsall, Craig Allen, Coniston Hall Hotel, and Bruce Elsworth, of The Angel Inn, at Hetton, joined by Steven Crabtree, of Bolton Abbey Foods.
Kilnsey Show is also a true showcase for Uplands farming and last year’s event featured the launch of Food and Farming for REAL – it stands for Rural & Regeneration, Education & Environment, Agriculture & Arts, Local & Leisure.
The 2008 show will bring down the curtain on this highly successful campaign, which has done a great deal to shine the spotlight on the vital role and positive contribution hill farming communities make to modern-day life.
The initiative has achieved much in raising across-the-board perceptions of the importance of the Uplands and a REAL marquee featuring all the different areas to which hill farming communities contribute – from the view you see to the food on your plate, supported by regional arts and culture, rural crafts and skills - will again be a highlight at this year’s Kilnsey Show.
A total of 20 stands have already booked in, among them Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Dales Society, Farm Stay UK, Bolton Abbey Estates, The Craven Guild of Spinners and Weavers, Limestone Country Beef Project, North Yorkshire Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wensleydale Creamery, Yockenthwaite Farm, Yorkshire Organic Centre, the ARC-Addington Fund - a charity providing housing for farming families needing to leave their farm and in doing so losing their home - Hearts and Flowers Florists, beekeepers, I'Ansons Feeds, Masham, and Hesketh Farm Park at Bolton Abbey, who plan to bring along some of their smaller animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, for children to hold.
Indeed, there’s an increased emphasis this year on providing hands-on educational activities for younger visitors. All stallholders in the REAL marquee are being encouraged to hold quizzes, while a Children’s Cookery Theatre will be led by top chef Andrew Wood, who has just been voted the Tilda food company Chef of the Year.
Andrew, who also won a Gold medal in the 2006 Salon Culinaire de Londres competition, one of the world's most prestigious professional culinary competitions, is now chef and lecturer at the University of York. He has also worked in Germany, at the London Ritz and as head chef at York’s Middlethorpe Hall.
Plans for a dedicated Children’s Educational Area are also being put in place – again with a food and farming theme. Activities could include Smoothie-making, card-making, colouring and white boards - all intended to provide visitors with some free entertainment for their children.
The role of women in rural life is being portrayed through photography by Abi Ryder, a local farmer’s daughter.
A potential link-up with Framework for Change, the umbrella group delivering the regional strategy for sustainable farming and food, is also in the pipeline.
The group is presently working with the Year of Food and Farming regional team to encourage farmers, educators and students to participate in activities that increase their knowledge of farming and food.
Over £20,000 of advance funding for this year’s show is already in place. Sponsors to date include Bolton Abbey Estates – the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire will again be attending – Northern and Southern Dales Farmers Markets, Hill Farming Initiative, Craven District Council, North Yorkshire County Council, CLA Charitable Trust, Wensleydale Creamery, Tarmac, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Agricultural Society, and Beamsley-based digital media company Recorded Devilery.
Show chairman and local farmer Robert Lambert said: “The 2008 show has all the makings of being one of the biggest and best in our long and proud history.
“While our emphasis as a traditional regional agricultural show must always remain on livestock, we are always trying to lay on different events and activities that will appeal to a much wider audience – in fact, to each and every sector of the community.
“At the same time, we are seeking to reflect the changing role of the traditional hill farmer, who is no longer principally a food producer, but more of an environment creator. Kilnsey Show, with its tie-up with Food and Farming for Real, is a true trailblazer of this change.”
Gates for this year’s show open at 9am and close at 7pm. The official show website is www.kilnseyshow.co.uk
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