Saturday, 15 June 2013

Snapshots of the Royal - day one

Packed with visitors - and how marvellous to see so many 
school children - some may be inspired to work in farming
The former Three Counties Show - just granted the Royal seal of approval, and thus now known as the Royal Three Counties Show - has kicked off to a fantastic start. Royal status will almost certainly affirm its place as one of the top agricultural shows in Britain; the venue has in fact been a favourite with the Royal family since the early days on its permanent site at Malvern, with HM The Queen Mother visiting the first showground show in 1981. The Show’s new title acknowledges its contribution over two centuries to the promotion of breed development, commercial farming and food production, together with its efforts to create opportunities for “educational interface between farmers and consumers”.

The RBST has joined forces at the Show with NFU Countryside
Additionally, it is a grand day out for families from all over the region, and beyond, and allows those seeking to support rural endeavours the chance to do so. I have selected six organisations offering family-friendly advice and activities related to farming and the country side, and all of whom welcome the public’s interest. Starting with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) – the leading national charity working to preserve the UK’s rare native breeds of farm animals and poultry from extinction. Become a member and you will be helping to support a vital genetic resource. Stand OS608

Farmers helping the countryside
The RBST have teamed up for this Show with NFU Countryside (also on Stand OS608) – a membership organisation for people who are passionate about rural life. The NFU supports farmers professionally of course, but the NFU also realised the tremendous appetite of consumers for farming news, and created a separate division, and magazine, specifically for those interested in food and farming, wildlife and gardening; plus country homes, dogs and horses. Reconnecting with a rural lifestyle and keeping rural traditions alive is top of the agenda for many Show visitors, so do take advantage of reduced membership fees when joining both organisations, an opportunity only available when subscribing over this weekend.

The CRT are establishing a network of demonstration farms
To my shame, I had not heard of the CRT – The Countryside Restoration Trust (and I had though I was completely au fait with most initiatives connected with farming and agriculture). The Trust is committed to promoting the importance of a living and working countryside through education, demonstration and community involvement. As such, it is establishing a network of demonstration farms across Britain, which, using sensitive farming methods, will show how to protect wildlife whilst producing good quality food and preserving our countryside for future generations. Launched 20 years ago in response to fears about over-intensified and industrialised farming, it now manages over 1,000 acres of land with properties throughout various counties. Become a friend of the Trust, to receive special invitations and details of guided farm walks, talks and other events.

Each of the above national organisations provide regular magazines as part of your membership fee.

Enjoying birdwatching at the RSPB's Lock Garten reserve
All visitors to the Show must surely be familiar with the RSPB – Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. As well as their many reserves open to the public,  they provide detailed information on planting gardens for birds and other wildlife. As urbanisation creeps into more and more gardens, those sympathetic to maintaining a viable eco-system, can help enormously; counteract the

And finally, the Malvern Hills Conservators are caretakers of over 3,000 acres of hills and commons and manage them for public benefit.  Directly relevant to the Showground as it sits below part of this magnificence and created a stunning and theatrical backdrop for any show. A distinctive range of peaks and gullies, the Malvern Hills (an AONB, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) comprise a number of diverse landscapes, rich in wildlife, flora and fauna – and with easy access. The aim of the Hills Conservators is to keep the land as close to nature as possible whilst keeping it as open space for public recreation and enjoyment.

Now to explore the rest of the Show - only two more days - today and Sunday 16th June - to do so.

Discover more at the exhibitor websites:

The Malvern Conservators:

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