Blooming good family fun at Spring Show

spring-pic2Bags of bank holiday family fun with leisure activities for all ages will be spread across the South of England Showground in Ardingly at this year’s Spring Garden & Leisure Show on Sunday 3 and Monday 4 May and all under 16s can enter for FREE, when accompanied by a paying adult.

For the first time the show will bring together some of Sussex’s leading sporting clubs including Sussex County Cricket Club who will be putting batting and bowling techniques to the test in their new mobile indoor cricket net and footie fans will also be able to get some top tips from the Brighton and Hove Albion Football club.

Also new to the show this year and open for anyone to try is archery, provided by Aim Archery from Battle, East Sussex; adults can come and have a tow with special caravan manoeuvring courses run by The Caravan Club; and budding artists can enjoy a creative hands-on experience with leading bronze garden sculptors, Mary Cox and her son Jonathan Cox.

The ‘Paws in the Park’ dog agility course will be seeking out the fastest four legs at the show where visitors and their dogs can compete in a fun and safe obstacle course – a great opportunity to come and have a taste of what is to come with the bigger ‘Paws in the Park’ event at the showground later in May.

Feathered friends will also have their moment of glory in the ‘Best Looking Chicken’ competition and the chance to win tickets to the Autumn Show & Game Fair later in the year in the guess the different breeds of chicken competition. Experts will be on hand to give advice about keeping poultry and rabbits – with a prize going to the heaviest bunny.

Paul Thain, Chairman of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show Committee said, “We are really excited about all the new leisure activities at the show this year as well as an inspiring new plant and nursery area that has been created with thousands of plants to choose from and a free carry to the car service provided by local Scout volunteers.

“Other familiar family favourites include the ever popular ‘Sheep Show’ with live sheep on stage; cattle, sheep, goat and pig workshops in the Access to the Countryside Area; the fantastic fairground; and a fluffy duck trail which will take children on a fun journey around the showground.”

Jean Griffin of BBC Sussex, Surrey and Kent will return as the resident gardening expert for the weekend and lead another exciting programme of Q&A sessions with a panel of experts in the Gardening Theatre, which will include a live broadcast with presenter, Joe Talbot, from the BBC gardening radio programme, Dig It.  This popular pit stop for green-fingered enthusiasts often leaves only standing room at the back, so best to check times and get a seat early!

Society members will be able to relax in their own lounge in the Norfolk Pavilion and have a first class view of the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance helicopter which will be operating from the main Ardingly Ring throughout the two days.  Whilst on the ground, you can also meet the crew, look inside the helicopter and have the chance to win a mini.

Other highlights will include the Crufts qualifying South of England Agricultural Society Open Dog Show with over 700 entries and the famous South East Regional Alpaca Show where dozens of these fascinating camelids from South America will compete for the coveted first prize.

Mouth-watering menus can be enjoyed from The Garden Chef in the Norfolk Pavilion Café and there will be many other tasty treats to take home from the tempting food hall as well as hours of shopping including country crafts and clothing, gifts and DIY, garden furniture, home wares, wellies and handbags!

Admission: Under 16s go FREE (when accompanied by a paying adult £10); senior citizens and students over 16 £8.  Save up to 10% with advance ticket discounts at

Open: 9am daily   Close: 5pm daily



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