Visitor numbers were up by 3,000 with 71,000 people flocking to enjoy the spectacle of the 47th South of England Show in June. This is the largest agricultural show in the region and is dedicated to celebrating all aspects of British country life, promoting and supporting farming, country living and the rural community.

Over 2,500 livestock entries were received this year – the largest figure in four years.  We had over 213 sheep, 111 pigs, 88 goats, 350 cattle and over 1,800 horses on display throughout the three days.

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal visited the ‘growing’ displays in the Wildlife, Farming and Forestry area where dozens of Primary Schools were asked to celebrate our Year of Horticulture theme by producing the most unusual planter, the most dazzling display or the most creative use of plants and they fulfilled the criteria with some truly wonderful and colourful creations.

SN4---SOESAfter performing a wonderful display, carriage drivers from the Riding for the Disabled Association were presented rosettes by Her Royal Highness.  Long Service Awards were also presented to John Day, John Dick and Malcolm Stevens in recognition of 40 years of dedicated service to the Society.

86-year-old John Blake was presented the Award of Honour by Her Royal Highness for his contribution to promoting the traditional craft of hedgelaying and for his work as Chairman of the National Hedge laying Society.

Ian Askew MC DL was also honoured and remembered for his immense support and generosity to the Society spanning over many decades with the unveiling of a plaque at the superb new kennel facilities at the Showground.  Just weeks before he passed away, Mr Askew very generously donated the funds to rebuild the kennels after the old buildings had been destroyed in the winter storms.