THIS year’s sheep show at Simonside Country Fair in Northumberland will be open to all farmers for the first time.
In the past, the event has been restricted to farms in the immediate vicinity of Forestburngate, south of Rothbury.
The country fair is on the second Sunday in August, this year the 12th.
Since the first show, in 1985, run then as now by a committee of people drawn from the isolated farms and hamlets within a few miles of Forestburngate, it has achieved its principal aim of raising money for local charities and organisations.
Fundraising this year will be for charities for disabled people, principally Kielder’s Calvert Trust and Riding for the Disabled.
After the annual sheep show at 11am, the fair starts at noon. All afternoon visitors will be entertained with children’s sports, fancy dress, dog classes, an industrial tent, Cumberland wrestling, a fell race, quoits, clay pigeon shooting, a terrier show and terrier racing, and many exhibits focusing on countryside life and crafts.
There will be an all-day cafe and bar and the nearby pub will be open throughout the day.
This year, there will be additional artistic activities for children, including a chance to decorate and fire a pot to take home, and music including Northumbrian pipers, steel panners and the local choir.
There will be a display of birds of prey by Northumbria Falconry and dog agility by the North Northumbria Dog Agility team. Throughout the afternoon, there will be opportunities for visitors to take part in a do-it-yourself agility display with their own dogs.