Discover the Countryside

The Discover the Countryside area is a green oasis in the midst of the busy Showground, a place to linger and discover the variety of experiences the countryside has to offer both for employment and leisure – and with lots of seating it’s a perfect spot for a picnic.


Learn how to fly fish with Cinder Hill Trouting Syndicate who give daily demonstrations and lessons. The Fly Dressers Guild will show you how to tie the intricate flies which lure the fish on to the hook.


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. In celebration of the Society’s 50th year they will be carving an obelisk and you will be able to see it taking shape before your eyes throughout the Show.

Forest School, Bolnore School in Haywards Heath will bring to life how learning in the woods enhances the curriculum.

Birds of Prey

Huxley’s Experience will again be at the Show with their fascinating display of birds of prey and twice daily flying demonstrations.

Live Bats

This is a rare chance to get up close and personal and learn more about bats – this is always popular and draws a crowd!

Farming and the Countryside – with Plumpton, Brinsbury and Hadlow Colleges

Agricultural colleges from across the region take centre stage in the Discover the Countryside area, demonstrating everything from floristry activities to climbing, as well as providing the opportunity to say hello to a wide range of animals including farm animals and game. The focus in this area is having a hands-on experience of what is available – so come and have a go!

Also in the Discover the Country side area:

The National Sheep Association which provides support for sheep farmers, The Woolly Roadshow with their sheep related educational exhibit and activities for children, plus Spinners and Weavers demonstrations. Plumpton will again be running their Shearing Competition and their Fleece Competition will be bigger than ever in celebration of the 50th anniversary celebrations.

South Downs National Park will be sharing info on the management of the park, farming and tourism.

Mantel Farms, a small farm training group, will talk about farming on a small scale. Find out more here.

New in this area for 2017 is the Design a Small Garden Competition – so come and browse the inspiring entries.

You can also visit NFU Food & Farmyard near the Blue gate for a fabulous celebration of the countryside with ‘50 years of farming and food’.

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The Countryside Hub

The South of England Agricultural Society is passionate about raising awareness and understanding of the countryside, food and farming and bringing valuable learning opportunities about the countryside and land-based industries.

Join us in The Countryside Hub within the Discover the Countryside zone where you can take a look at the schools competition entries in celebration of ‘50 Years of the South of England Agricultural Society’. Competition categories include ‘Grow any plants or vegetables with the display representing the number 50’; ‘Make a scrapbook showing 50 things you love about the Great British Countryside’ and ‘A 50 word poem about your photo of the Great British Countryside’, with a prize being awarded to the winner of each category for each Key Stage Group.

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