Another successful and enjoyable weekend has been had by all those involved in the Royal Welsh Spring Festival in Llanelwedd.
The Spring Festival is becoming one of the most popular smallholder events in the spring show season The festival roots have always very firmly been in smallholding, gardening and sustainable living. Over the years the event has evolved and embraced a wide range of activities and attractions with something to interest everyone.
This year the ‘new look’ Spring Festival had an increased emphasis on smallholding with visitors able to visit the new dedicated Smallholder Centre and enjoy over 1800 livestock entries.
The large number of free workshops, talks, question and answer sessions, demonstrations and displays on offer throughout the showground attracted many knowledge thirsty festival goers eager to learn more on subjects such as beekeeping, blade shearing, adding value to pork through direct sales, ornamental plants, keeping chickens, growing food in public places, and much more.
The new additions to the event proved a hit with visitors and competitors alike.
Gundog owners enjoyed the opportunity to put their dogs through their paces in the first British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Chudleys Scurry League to be held in Wales and visit the new County Life area of the festival.
As a result of unprecedented entry numbers (over 100 more than last year) the festival held the horse classes in two rings with working hunter and show jumping competitions and for the first time an affiliated CHAPS (Coloured Horse & Pony Society) Mid Wales Regional Show.
The Sunday’s Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival also drew the crowds keen to cheer on the 364 runners who entered the very first trail running event to be held on the showground here in mid Wales. Chief Executive, Steve Hughson and Assistant Chief Executive, Aled Jones both took part in the 10K race as part of the of the 2015 Chief Executive Challenge.
“It was a great race and the event was a huge success on its debut. The atmosphere was fantastic and I think we’ve really got something to build on for the future in partnership with Run4Wales,” said Steve Hughson.
“The course was terrific, with some great views from up on top of the hill climbs, and there was something for everyone to get involved in with the range of races on offer.”
Once again the attractions proved extremely popular with visitors flocking to see the displays in the festival main ring from the incredible Hawksdrift Falconry, the exciting and crowd pleasing Paws 4 Thought dog display team, the skilful BASC Gun Dog demonstration team, and the speedy Scurry Driving races.
Kay Spencer, Spring Festival Director, was delighted with how the event went. “It is no mean feat organising and hosting the number one event for smallholding, gardening and sustainable living in Wales, and we are thrilled that the festival attracted so many visitors.
“This year we have worked hard to make the Spring Festival appeal to a large variety of people whether they are smallholders, budding gardeners or countryside enthusiasts. There was something for everyone to enjoy.
“The Spring Festival compliments the other two larger society events (Royal Welsh Show and Winter Fair) and provides our visitors with a relaxed, family focused event with a wonderful friendly atmosphere. It really was the perfect family day out.” continued Mrs Spencer.
The success of the festival bodes well for the up-coming Royal Welsh Show, to be held on 20 - 23 July, just nine weeks away.