Every year, the Totnes Agricultural Show turns South Devon’s Berry Farm into a hive of commerce, competition and spectacle. This year’s will take place on Sunday 31st July 2016, and you’ll find the farm in the village of Berry Pomeroy (for sat nav users, the postcode is TQ9 6LG).
Reminding us what makes South Devon special
The beauty of the South Devon countryside is such that it’s easy for visitors – and even many residents – to forget that the fields and hedgerows aren’t there just to add to the scenery.
And there’s something about the word ‘natural’ in phrases like ‘the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ that gloss over the fact that the region’s legions of hardworking farmers and farmworkers contribute so much to the beautiful landscape.
To produce the perfect panoramas with which we’re all familiar, the hedges must be maintained, the green fields grazed, the soil scrupulously managed and the crops carefully cultivated by means both traditional and state of the art.
Events like the Totnes Agricultural Show (or to give it its full title, ‘The Totnes and District Agricultural Show’) help to remind many of us of the crucial importance and tremendous value of farming to the region.
It’s a chance for traders to sell their wares, farmers and breeders to meet, compete and educate the public, and everyone to have a memorable day out.
Highlights of the show
The day’s packed programme means there’s something for everyone and that it’s impossible to see or take part in every event. But the most unmissable include:
- the Grande Parade, which involves prize-winning cattle, sheep and horses from the day
- the Vintage Cars/Historical Vehicles Parade, which gives you the chance to see a succession of beautifully restored and maintained vehicles from yesteryear
- the Parade of Harriers and Beagles, which gives adults and kids alike the chance to meet the animals
- Terrier Racing – a popular participatory event that’s not, as the organisers are keen to point out, just for terriers!
Many of the events at Totnes Agricultural Show are the traditional country competitions you’d expect and hope to see, including competitions involving:
- show jumping
There’s also the Sheep Show (‘back by popular demand’) – a fun and educational show including a sheep shearing demonstration that kids in particular will enjoy.
At the Totnes Show Acoustic Music Stage, a varied mix of live acts will prove the soundtrack for the event, and there will be as many as 150 trade and refreshment stalls.
Homecraft and handicraft classes
For more hands-on entertainment, there are lots of classes for adults and children, with highlights including:
- jam making
- greeting cards
- silk painting
Those who aren’t minded to have a go themselves can still stop by to see the best efforts of the day’s ‘students’.
For the little ones
The Totnes Agricultural Show offers the perfect opportunity to teach children more about where their food comes from, in a fun way that they’ll remember.
Recent evidence reminds us of just how important this educational aspect is. In 2013, the British Nutrition Foundation published the results of a survey which found almost a third of primary school children believed cheese came from plants. 17% aged between 8 and 11 thought that pasta came from animals!
On the other hand, when it comes to occupying the kids, it’s not all about straightforward education by any means. There’s plenty of fun for fun’s sake too: traditional swingboats, a bouncy castle and a climbing wall all provide ways the little ones can burn off some energy.
Totnes Rare Breeds Farm will also host Pets Corner – likely to be an especially popular attraction for children.
Tickets for the Totnes Agricultural Show
You can purchase tickets for the 2016 show in advance, which will provide a small saving. Advance tickets are priced at £9 for adults, £3 for children between 5 and 16 years old, and £23 for family tickets (for two adults and up to three children). Advance tickets are available until 3 pm on 28th July.
To buy tickets on the day, tickets cost £10 per adult, £3 for children aged between 5 and 16, and £25 for family tickets.
In all cases, admission for children aged four or under is free.
Accommodation this July
The Totnes Agricultural Show offers a great opportunity to get to know the traditional, working side of South Devon which many of us take for granted.
Book your summer holiday in South Devon today and make a day at the show part of your plans.