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Sun-kissed Smallholding and Countryside Festival kicks off 2023 show season

Visitors enjoyed a sunny weekend at the Smallholding and Countryside Festival.

A fantastic, fun-filled couple of days was enjoyed by thousands of visitors to the Royal Welsh Smallholding and Countryside Festival in Llanelwedd at the weekend.

The two-day event was a celebration of rural life, showcasing the diversity of the Welsh countryside, and proved to be a great day out for young families, smallholders and anyone with a love for the great outdoors.

With opportunities to benefit from a wide variety of information at the Smallholder’s Centre, smallholding farmers were able to learn about all sorts of interesting activities, including talks on getting started with their farming journey, beekeeping and goat milk demonstrations.

Farming Connect Horticulture took over the Members Centre for the Growers Market, giving growers the opportunity to showcase and sell their products.

The Smallholding and Countryside Festival is always filled with exciting entertainment and this year was no exception. From woodchopping and forestry competitions to the Medieval Re-enactment Camp, there was a wealth of different rural crafts on display.

The Country Life Area was bustling with have-a-go activities, such as the children’s cycling course, circus skills from Panic Family Circus, the Glamorgan Novelty Dog Show and  the Premier Open Dog Show which saw hundreds of dogs competing to qualify for Crufts 2024.

The Smallholding and Countryside Festival is a great introduction to the showing world and an opportunity to showcase rare and native breeds

Attracting competitors and smallholders from near and far, the livestock and equine competitions had an excellent line-up of animals in all sections. Even Radio Cymru star Ifan Jones Evans was on our sheep judging panel.

Several new equine classes were added, the main being the Rising Star qualifiers for the 2023 London International Horse Show. The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (RWAS) also launched brand new Home-Produced classes with the help of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society (WPCS).

Geraint James, honorary festival director, said: “We had a fantastic few days at the Smallholding and Countryside Festival and everyone was excited to be back in Llanelwedd to kick-start the show season.

“We were blessed with excellent weather throughout the weekend, which contributed to the positive, feel-good atmosphere around the showground.”

After last year’s success, the Wool Zone returned, showcasing the versatility and fabulous creations made from wool with various displays and trade stands. The wool handling and blade shearing competitions attracted many spectators.

The festival display ring was jam-packed with entertainment, as crowds gathered to watch the show jumping competitions, the Steve Colley Motorbike Stunt Show, the MAD Aerial Bikes, the Little Nippers Display and a spectacular Welsh Festival of Land Rovers vintage display

As well as the Food Hall, which hosted producers showcasing the very best produce from Wales, the popular Street Food Area was bustling throughout the weekend.

RWAS chief executive, Aled Rhys Jones said: “A huge number of people and families from across Wales and beyond came to enjoy the animals, the food and the entertainment. It was a cracking weekend, but now it’s time to look forward and the countdown begins…just nine weeks until The Royal Welsh Show!”