Kilnsey Show & Sports, a recognised showcase for both Dales farming communities and visitors from across the North of England, takes place on Bank Holiday Tuesday, August 31.
Organisers Upper Wharfedale Agricultural Society report that arrangements are on course for the 113th annual event, one of the largest agricultural shows in the Yorkshire Dales, staged in the shadow of famous Kilnsey Crag, north of Skipton,
Competitors in hundreds of show classes will be hoping to win a share of the £16,000 total prize fund and one of the 83 trophies. Agricultural interest is centred around the traditional cattle and sheep classes, which cater for many different breeds and themselves offer prize money of £6,500. They invariably attract a high and quality turnout. This year, there’s a new-look cattle showcase that’s more visitor-friendly.
Livestock classes are supported by equine events throughout the day - show jumping, shires, hunters and harness racing – plus displays and demonstrations highlighting all aspects of agricultural and rural life and crafts, among them dry stone walling, sheep dog trials, angling, vintage tractors, produce, handicrafts and horticulture.
Mid-afternoon, the show moves into the sports programme, notably its renowned fell races, a traditional sport which Kilnsey has done much to retain and sustain.
A key aim of Kilnsey Show is to provide an opportunity for those unfamiliar with uplands farming to find out all about the life of the hill farmer and also to trace their food from field to plate.
Taking the lead here again with a high profile presence at the show is REAL Food and Farming, which champions the Yorkshire Dales uplands and the communities and businesses that depend on them.
The REAL village encourages people from all walks of life to learn more about local food and food producers. There is a standalone children’s educational area with hands-on activities, a cookery theatre and Northern Dales Farmers Markets’ food tent.
The cookery theatre features regional food masterclasses from five of Yorkshire’s best-know chefs – Coniston Hotel’s Craig Allen, The Angel Inn at Hetton’s Bruce Elsworth, Stephanie Moon, from Rudding Park Country House Hotel, Harrogate, John Rudden, of Grassington House Hotel, and Richard Upton, from the Bull Inn at Broughton.
Budding bread makers will be given an opportunity to rise to the occasion, courtesy of York University’s Andrew Wood, while a new face this year is former church minister, Grassington-based Peter Thomas, from NISCU Craven, which works alongside schools to present the Christian faith in a fun and exciting way. He will be story telling, running drama workshops and craft activities.
Animals from Hesketh Farm Park. Bolton Abbey, popular in the children’s area in 2009, are making a welcome return this year. Outside, Bolton Abbey Estate’s resident bodger Richard Law will show how he uses traditional tools and timber thinnings to make furniture and bird tables. He can normally be found at work on his pole laithe off the green trail in Strid Wood.
The NFU Changing Attitudes Roadshow is stopping off at Kilnsey Show. It reaches tens of thousands of people across England and Wales, informing them know why farming matters in the twenty first century.
The roadshow aims to engage, educate and entertain children and adults of all ages, whether it‘s a hands-on experience of milking a lifelike cow, matching cereals with end products or talking about the Red Tractor logo, a mark of quality that guarantees the food we’re buying comes from farms and food companies that meet high standards of food safety and hygiene, animal welfare and environmental protection.
REAL Food and Farming is again supporting the ARC-Addington Fund, a national aid organisation that helps maintain the economic and social fabric of UK farming communities.
Local food producers, many of them small, family-run businesses, are turning out in force for the Northern Dales Farmers Markets’ food tent. The Angel’s Bruce Elsworth said: “It’s fantastic that people can see chefs cooking with various ingredients and then walk next door to the farmer's market and meet the person who produced it.”
Matthew Hurst is again flying in from Malhamdale Falconry with his birds of prey and will put on a special display in the main arena if weather conditions permit.
The showground, with more than 100 food, craft and trade stands, again features the new user-friendly layout that proved so successful last year in allowing visitors to better view events and attractions.
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