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Full Programme Planned for Royal Welsh Spring Festival

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s two-day Smallholder and Garden Festival, now becoming more popularly known as the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, will take place over the weekend of May 21-22.  The snappier title is in line with efforts being made to raise the profile and increase public awareness of the Festival.

The Festival is remarkably successful and already draws up to 25,000 people to the Royal Welsh showground at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, where it is firmly established as a family favourite with a programme full of interest and entertainment for people of all ages.

“However we have reached the stage where we would like to move forward to engage a wider audience,” said Caron Evans, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Assistant Company Secretary.

“The Festival has an individuality of its own and with its increased scope has universal appeal to the whole of Wales, the border counties and beyond,” she said.  “Although many people know of the Festival there is potential for a larger audience to come to the event which is now recognised as one of the best of its kind in Britain.”

Key issues highlighted at the Spring Festival include the environment and sustainable living and Dr Fred Slater, the Festival chairman, believes it ‘ticks all the right boxes’, showcasing as it does a Green Horizons exhibition and featuring the smallholder lifestyle, both of which are subjects which have captured the public imagination.

“The Spring Festival is clearly becoming a platform to publicise the good side of change to help people save energy and protect the environment while at the same time enjoying what the countryside has to offer,” he said.

Apart from such topical issues as conservation and the environment the Festival is abuzz with activities which have made it popular.  While catering especially for smallholders and gardeners, this year’s event – the eleventh to be run by the RWAS – will have a more extensive and varied programme than ever played out against the background of more than 300 agricultural and craft stands demonstrating and selling just about anything a smallholder or gardener might need.

Livestock schedules for the Festival will shortly be available and conventional and rare breeds on display will include all the favourites such as Pygmy, Angora and Dairy goats, pigs (the pig show with up to about 300 entries is the largest in the country), cattle, sheep, poultry and waterfowl.  For the first time the event will feature a traditional, rare and native cattle breeds competition to be judged by Adam Henson.

Among the main attractions will be dancing and a folk dance festival, farriery competitions, llamas and alpacas, a vintage machinery display, Farmers Markets in Wales and beekeeping displays by the Welsh Beekeepers Association.

 One of the interesting features of the Festival are the many workshops and talks and question and answer sessions on smallholding, horticultural, environmental and countryside matters and roadshows covering gardening and property, focussing mainly on rural properties ideal for those seeking an idyll from where to make a small country living.

A premier open dog show with over 1000 entries, a qualifier for Crufts, takes place during the Festival and the main ring entertainment will include the exciting Mid Wales Axe Racing team, the Hawkesdrift Falconry, the Waldburg Shires and scurry driving.

Gardeners should include a visit to the showground’s Floral Hall and a ‘Gardening Question Time’ will feature well-known radio and TV presenters.

Auctions of vintage and classic tractors, engines and implements, literature and other collectibles will take place on the first day of the Festival and auctions of poultry and poultry equipment and collectibles will follow on the second day.

Source Details

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society

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