Discover the Countryside
At the true heart of our show you’ll find the Discover the Countryside area. Here you can truly connect with the countryside and discover the huge variety of experiences it has to offer when it comes to both employment and leisure. There will be demonstrations and interactive workshops to keep the whole family entertained including:
The Countryside Hub
Come and find out about the work of the South of England Agricultural Society including our recent ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ initiative and information on the Countryside Code. Plus you can milk Buttercup, our life-sized model dairy cow. The Sussex Police Rural Crimes Team will also be on hand for a chat.
Hedge Laying Demonstrations
It might seem easy but we can assure you that the practice of hedge laying is much harder that it looks, requiring skill and experience. The wonderful team at The South of England Hedge Laying Society will be on hand throughout the event demonstrating the traditional craft of hedge laying in the South of England style.
Local colleges and the famous Sheep Show will be providing shearing demonstrations – watch this age old skill up close.
Forestry with Balcombe Estates
Meet the team from Balcombe Estates and find out how they manage their land, grow trees and what they do with the wood.
Young Farmers Club
Meet the young farmers who will be sharing information about their various groups throughout the region, see the entries in their competition categories and enjoy the spectacle of their Tug of War competition.
NFU Discovery Barn
Families with younger children will love the interactive nature of the NFU’s Discovery Barn which helps youngsters understand more about their food, with a wide range of activities including quizzes, puzzles and a chance to learn about tractors and new technology.
Land Based Colleges
Representatives from local land-based colleges and schools will be on hand to demonstrate the amazing range of skills they teach and talk to you about their courses.
A Sussex trug is a light but strong basket made from willow and sweet chestnut. The village of Herstmonceux has been known as a centre for this traditional craft for at least two hundred years although there are records of trugs and makers dating back to the sixteenth century. Representatives from Thomas Smith Trugs, the original makers of the famous royal Sussex gardening trug baskets, established in 1829, will be demonstrating this traditional craft across all three days of the show.
Stick & Hurdle Making
Hurdles are made from wattle – usually of hazel or willow – by placing upright sticks in holes in a log and weaving split branches between them. And the craft of stick making is actually one of the fastest growing pastimes in the country! Come and watch the incredible workmanship involved in these traditional woodland crafts.
Birds of Prey
Come and see the array of birds of prey from Joe’s Bows. The team will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about these magnificent birds as well as putting on twice daily flying demonstrations – a spectacle not to be missed.
Watch our talented wood carver demonstrate amazing live chainsaw wood carvings.
Mantel Farm is a family-run smallholding shop, training facility and animal boarding service. The team will be on hand to talk about farming on a small scale and explain how you can try this special way of life, either by enjoying the pleasures of keeping livestock, growing your own food or by simply buying local produce.
If you have an interest in fishing come and learn all about fly fishing, an angling method in which an artificial ‘fly’ is used to catch fish. The fly is cast using a fly rod, reel and specialised weighted line. Learn how to fly fish for yourself with Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate, who will be giving daily demonstrations and lessons. The Fly Dressers Guild will also be available to show you how to tie the intricate flies, which will help to lure the fish on to the hook.