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:
Local colleges will be providing shearing demonstrations – watch this age old skill up close.
Don’t miss this unique display which offers a fascinating insight into the production of milk from extraction right through to bottling from the 1930s to the 1960s.
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.
Spinners and Weavers
Don’t miss out on the interesting daily demonstrations and activities that are our expert spinners and weavers have on offer at this year’s Show. We also have Shearing demonstrations throughout the three days run by Plumpton College. Whether you are a practising weaver, spinner or dyer or are interested in learning about our traditional crafts, you’ve come to the right place. Meet the experts and get involved for yourself and see just how creative you can be!
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.
Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving and repairing forests and associated resources to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human and environment benefits. Come and see display and demos by the Balcombe Estate who will be talking about how they grow trees and how their wood is utilised. Forest School, Bolnore Forest School in Haywards Heath will bring to life how learning in the woods enhances the curriculum.
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 huge selection of birds of prey from Huxley’s Experience. 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.