Try Something New At The Autumn Show And Game Fair
The annual Autumn Show & Game Fair at the South of England Showground in Ardingly has firmly established itself as one of the most popular events in the region. On 30 September and 1 October, organisers at the South of England Agricultural Society will welcome thousands of people through the gates to come and have a go at a wide variety of popular country sports and pursuits.
Visitors can feast their eyes on the remarkable Falconry on Horseback displays from Jonathan Marshall in the main ring and new act this year, Chris Green the ‘Cornish Countryman’, will be entertaining the crowds with his fascinating and humorous show including pigeon decoying, duck calling and building hides.
Said Michelle Nudds, Chair of the Autumn Show & Game Fair Committee, “This show is all about trying something new and opening up the world of traditional country sports and living to all ages including dog agility, terrier racing, gundog scurries, clay pigeon shooting, air rifle shooting, fly fishing, falconry, archery and blacksmithing. These ‘have a go’ activities run all weekend and children under the age of 16, who are accompanied by an adult, also have free entrance to the show offering real value for money for a wonderful family day out.”
This is the best event the Society holds during the year for dog owners to bring their four legged friends on a lead to join in the fun. They can test their skills at the Mid Downs Dog Agility course, terrier racing or at the popular gundog scurry, which is run by the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC).
Game cookery demonstrations run by the BASC will be taking place throughout the weekend and you can even try your hand at bread making this year. An exciting new, under cover Food Court will be offering mouthwatering treats to eat and visitors can enjoy a superb shopping experience with delicious seasonal food and drink, countryside fashion, crafts and specialist equipment on sale.
Horticulture will be in full bloom with a ‘Celebration of Autumn’ flower arranging competition for beginners through to intermediate/advanced level. From giant leeks to perfect onions, there will be spectacular displays from the National Vegetable Society and a wonderful display of pumpkins, which have been grown from seed planted by children at the Spring Garden & Leisure Show earlier this year. Children will also have the opportunity to plant bulbs at the Autumn Show to bring back the flowering plant (or photograph) at the 2018 Spring Show. Numbers of bulbs are limited, so this will be on a first come first served basis.
Visitors can try their hand at making their own scarecrow with the Young Farmers Clubs and you can also enjoy ‘Box of Delights’ creative craft displays from members of the East & West Sussex Women’s Institute in the Norfolk Pavilion whilst enjoying breakfast or lunch in the café restaurant.
Thousands flock every year to come and enjoy some of the UK’s most popular countryside activities throughout the weekend including displays from Warrenby Gundogs, fly casting demonstrations from Cinder Hill Fly Fishing, packs of local hounds in the main arena, stunning displays from Huxley’s Birds of Prey and the popular Donkey Show (on Sunday only).
Clay pigeon enthusiasts can enter the High Gun and Ladies High Gun competitions and the Team Shoot Challenge, organised by Dan Kerwood and multiple gold medal winning daughter, Charlotte Kerwood of Northall Clay Pigeon Club. Complete beginners, including all members of the family, can also have a go at clay pigeon shooting and to save weary feet, trailer rides will take visitors to and from the clay pigeon shoot.
A variety of rabbits, poultry and farm animals will be on display, together with a collection of vintage agricultural vehicles, cars and traction engines. The traditional pumpkin trail offers a gentle journey around the showground and other family attractions include a traditional vintage funfair and kite flying.
The South of England Agricultural Society, currently celebrating its 50th year, is a charity that funds and supports agricultural education and countryside learning. The Forestry Department of the Balcombe Estate in West Sussex has kindly created a beautiful wooden obelisk to celebrate the Society’s special anniversary, which will be unveiled on the Sunday of the show.
The show will demonstrate the valuable learning opportunities the Society brings about the countryside and land-based industries to all ages, particularly the young. The top three submissions in each category of the Society’s Student Assignment Competition will receive their awards from Deputy President, Michael Lambert LVO at a prize-giving ceremony on the Sunday of the show.
Continued Michelle Nudds, “This competition is particularly relevant to the charity’s educational remit to support and celebrate achievement and inspiring innovations of the next generation. It is open to students on higher and further education courses at land based colleges and is designed to encourage individual research to improve knowledge and develop study skills.”
Visitors to the Autumn Show & Game Fair can also find out more about becoming a member of the South of England Agricultural Society offering a host of benefits including free entry to the four major shows at the Showground.
Open 9am – 5pm daily. Admission: FREE entry for under 16s (when accompanied by a paying adult). FREE parking. Senior citizens and students £9. Adults £11. Save 10% when you book online at www.seas.org.uk; offer ends midnight 29 September.