14,000 visitors enjoyed fun in the sun at this year’s action-packed Spring Live! as the 2018 show season got underway at the South of England Showground in Ardingly, West Sussex over the May bank holiday weekend.

Exciting new attractions, outdoor pursuits and interactive entertainment, including a stunning new Village Green with traditional maypole and Sussex dance demos entertained the crowds whilst soaking up the glorious sunshine and enjoying cool drinks and ice cream.

Green fingered enthusiasts enjoyed top gardening tips and some fantastic retail therapy.  While the new live music stage, sponsored by Sussex Downs College, rolled out a fantastic programme from award-winning musical talent, providing the perfect backdrop for those stopping for lunch in the tempting food court.  There was even a Spring Live! photo booth for visitors to take home memorable pictures from the day.

Said Kelly Grant, Development Director of the South of England Agricultural Society, “We have worked really hard to revamp Spring Live! this year with some fantastic experiences for all to enjoy including mini monster truck driving, an interactive caving system, donkey rides, fairground and plenty of free activities in the mix for children and families, making it great value for money with under 16s entering all our shows for free.  The feedback has been incredibly positive so we are already looking ahead to next year to add even more exciting activities and entertainment.”

Dogs were welcomed to Spring Live! and families encouraged to take part in a new fly ball competition as well as the fun dog agility courses.  The friendly Animal Barn allowed visitors to interact with rabbits, poultry, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep and even some exotic reptiles this year.  Inspirational creative zones proved very popular as well as archery, axe throwing, blacksmithing, circus skills and the much-loved Mini Sheep Show.

Gardening guru Jean Griffin of BBC Sussex, Surrey and Kent returned for the weekend, chairing another exciting programme of Q&A sessions with a panel of gardening experts in the popular Gardening Theatre.

Entries for the floral display competition in both the Beginners and Intermediate/Advanced classes were exhibited in addition to live demos and advice from the National Vegetable Society. Visitors could shop for seasonal plants and equipment, including hot tubs, which proved a very popular pit stop in the sunshine.

The annual South of England Alpaca Show took place in the Animal Barn and visitors were able to learn more about the British countryside and the important work the South of England Agricultural Society is doing as a charity to support agricultural education in the Countryside Hub.

With the show season now in full swing, the team at the Society is preparing for the final count down to the South of England Show, the region’s largest countryside Show taking place on 7, 8 & 9 June.  For all the information you need on this fantastic family day out and advance ticket discounts visit



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