South of England Society Spring Show



South of England Agricultural Society South of England Agricultural Society South of England Agricultural Society


Despite a soggy start to Sunday over 16,200 visitors flocked to the Spring Garden & Leisure Show at the South of England Showground in Ardingly over the bank holiday – an increase of 2.5% on last year’s figures.

The South of England Agricultural Society is this year celebrating ‘The Next Generation’ and with under 16s able to enter the show for free when accompanied by a paying adult, there was a definite family feel to the weekend. Many new leisure activities were enjoyed by all ages including football from Brighton & Hove Albion, golf from Mid Sussex Golf Club, archery from Aim Archery and a dogstable course organised by Paws in the Park.

Large crowds gathered to enjoy the ever popular ‘Sheep Show’ with live sheep on stage and there were many visitors to the cattle, sheep, goat and pig workshops in the Access to the Countryside Area. Younger visitors also enjoyed the fluffy duck trail, which took them on a fun journey around the showground with many stopping off for some more fun at the fairground.

Paul Thain, Chairman of the Spring Show Committee said: “After a horrible wet start to the show, the sunshine arrived and we were delighted to see so many thousands coming to enjoy a great family day out including a steady stream of people who came to have a tow at the caravan manoeuvring course run by the Caravan Club.

“The poultry area was a popular destination with dozens of breeds of chickens and ducks to choose from and we saw many taking home new feathered friends as they departed the showground.”

There was standing room only left in the ‘Gardening Theatre’ as green-fingered enthusiasts quizzed BBC gardening guru, Jean Griffin, and the rest of the expert gardening panel about everything flora related.

Trade stands across the showground were also very busy throughout the weekend with many tasty treats taken home from the tempting food hall as well as hundreds of plants, country crafts and clothing, gifts and DIY, garden furniture, home wares, wellies and handbags!

Over 700 dogs from across the region competed in the ever popular Open Dog Show which forms an integral part of the Spring Garden & Leisure Show and over 130 Alpacas competed at the show and were much admired by children and adults alike.

Also back by popular demand and taking centre stage, literally, as they landed and took off in the main ring, was the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance crew who were able to offer a very special insight into how they work and gave visitors the opportunity to look over a fully equipped helicopter.