COUNTRY FEST 2019

Despite the showers, almost 15,000 visitors attended last weekend’s Country Fest at Crooklands, enjoying everything the festival had to offer, celebrating the British countryside.
The Bolddog Lings wowed crowds in the Lloyd South Lakes Demo Arena with daring airborne stunts encouraged by a cheering audience. The crowd pleasing Terrier racing was great fun and other highlights included the Fell Pony Display Team choreographed beautifully to music, historic and classic motorcycles and Old Hall Farm Bouth brought one of their immaculately turned out Shire horse’s and Charlotte gave a most enlightened commentary on the breed.
We were delighted to host the IWA National Trailboat Festival, part of the bicentenary celebrations of the opening of the Lancaster Canal. Trailboaters from throughout the UK had gathered on the Northern Reaches with a stunning array of boats culminating in an illuminated flotilla.
The new Floral Design Marquee amazed visitors with the creative and imaginative flower displays, demonstrations, and have a-go-work stations. Another first this year was the “Thriving Trolleys” Competition open to local primary schools, who were challenged to plant, grow and nurture an array of flowers fruit or vegetables in a supermarket trolley within the theme of Health and Happiness. Congratulations go to Flookburgh Primary School who gained first place.  The McClures Food Theatre was packed all weekend with people enjoying cookery demonstrations from numerous chefs including 2019 MasterChef winner Irini Tzortzoglou. The Sew Crafty Marquee was busy with both young and old hand making hearts for the special baby care unit.
The WI Marquee celebrated “Market Day” and the Vintage Revival Marquee included a Vintage Tea Room serving tea and cakes which was a big hit and poignant in this special 75th anniversary of D-day. The extremely popular Food Zone was full of all manner of delicious food and drink for visitors to purchase and take home.
Record entries took part in the Young Shepherd event, part of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust section. Popular favourites included Discover Farming, Pets Corner and Poultry and Rabbit Shows plus the Kite Festival. The Companion Dog Show and Terrier Show were well supported, with the Westmorland Veterinary Group presenting rosettes to the winners.
Bake a Cake Competition Prizes were presented by the President, Sam Rayner, and kindly donated by the Aga Shop Kendal.
Christine Knipe, Chief Executive of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society, said: “We are so proud to be celebrating 11 years of Country Fest. A huge thank you to all the visitors for coming and supporting the event and special thanks to all the exhibitors, display teams, traders, producers and our fantastic team of volunteers who all help to make this enjoyable family event what it is. We look forward to welcoming you all again next year for another great Country Fest where there really is something for all the family”

Country Fest will take place on 30 and 31 May next year, so make a date in your diary.

Poultry Results

Bake a Cake Results

Sew Crafty Results

Floral Display Marquee

Terrier Show Results

COUNTRY FEST 2018

The 10th Country Fest proved a huge success with thousands of visitors flocking to the event. In the Lloyd South Lakes Arena, the Jason Smyth Adrenaline Tour wowed the crowds with daring airborne stunts encouraged by an enthralled and cheering audience. The crowd pleasing Terrier racing was great fun and other highlights included the Fell Pony Display Team, historic and military vehicles and classic motorcycles.

First time exhibitors, Flowers North West, amazed visitors with their creative and imaginative flower displays. Another first this year was a trial of paper cup recycling in partnership James Cropper PLC, District and County Councils and Cumbria Waste. With visitors keen to recycle their used cups, they were sent to Croppers HQ at Burneside to be recycled into paper carrier bags for high end store Selfridges.

The McClures Food Theatre was packed all weekend with people enjoying cookery demonstrations from numerous chefs including 2018 MasterChef finalist Moonira Hinglotwala. The poppy making workshop in the Sew Crafty Marquee was busy with both young and old hand making poppies to be displayed in the ‘Westmorland Remembers’ Marquee at the County Show.

The WI Marquee celebrated Inspirational Women and the Vintage Revival Marquee included a Vintage Tea Room serving tea and cakes which was a big hit, as was the extremely popular Food Zone full of all manner of delicious food and drink for visitors to purchase and take home.

Popular favourites included Discover Farming, Rare Breeds, Pets Corner and the Poultry and Rabbit Shows plus Donkey Rides and the Kite Festival. The Dog and Terrier Shows had plenty of entries with the Westmorland Veterinary Group presenting rosettes to the winners. Prizes kindly donated by The AGA Shop, Kendal were presented by Deputy President, Susie Bagot, to all the winning bakers in the AGA Bake a Cake Competition.

Christine Knipe, Chief Executive of the Westmorland Agricultural Society, said: “We are so proud to be celebrating 10 years of Country Fest this year and I would like to say a huge thank you to all the visitors for coming and supporting the event. We would also like to thank all the exhibitors, display teams, traders, food and drink producers and our team of volunteers  who all help to make this enjoyable family event what it is. We look forward to welcoming you all again next year for another great Country Fest where there really is something for all the family.”

Country Fest will take place on 1 and 2 June next year, so make a date in your diary.

Poultry Results

Sew Crafty Results

Terrier Show Results

Bake a Cake Results

Trail Race Results

COUNTRY FEST 2017

One of Country Fest’s main attractions this year was the utterly breath-taking Bolddog Lings FMX Team, whose heart-stopping tricks and stunts kept thousands of visitors thoroughly entertained throughout the weekend.  Performing twice a day, these dare devils could be seen somersaulting through the air in the Lloyd South Lakes Arena – a first for Country Fest and a definite favourite with all visitors.

New sections this year included the WI Marquee, which was filled with stunning displays.  Showcasing the best of the region with their theme ‘Celebrating Cumbria’, classes included ‘Wordworth’s Daffodils’ and ‘A Decorated Hiking Boot’ amongst others, which made for some fantastic exhibits.  Thanks to all those involved for their hard work.  Country Fest also welcomed the new Sew Crafty Marquee, with competitive handicraft classes for all ages.  Entries were excellent for this section, and organisers Wendy Swainson and Maria Jones put in a huge amount of effort – the marquee looked spectacular, with a corner dedicated to handmade scarecrows, made by local Primary Schools, as well as craft workshops taking place throughout the weekend, so thanks to them for all their great work.  We hope that both sections will continue to flourish!

Due to DEFRA restrictions, we were unfortunately unable to hold a Poultry show on Saturday, however with thanks to Jim Benson, an egg show went ahead which was well attended and welcomed.  Sunday saw the return of the Rabbit Show, which is always popular with visitors, and ran as smoothly as ever under the watchful eye of Laurel Benson.  Elsewhere, The RBST Young Shepherd’s worked tirelessly all weekend looking after their Rare Breed Sheep, whilst taking part in show preparation and etiquette workshops with the finale of the Young Shepherd’s Event classes on Sunday.

The Young Farmers Tug of War County Final was, as ever, another superb addition to Country Fest.  The competition was dominated by Sedbergh, who won both the men’s and ladies’, with Broughton wining the mixed juniors.  Crowds of enthusiastic visitors enjoyed fierce competition, whilst enjoying the stunning kites flying overhead – which are now becoming a Country Fest trade mark!

The Food Theatre welcomed BBC Food & Drink’s Tim Maddams, who made the most of local produce in his demonstrations.  We were also joined by McClures, Docker Duck Egg Company and Crankshaft Brewery, with a new children’s baking workshop taking place on Sunday morning.  The sausage workshop, now in its second year continued to grow in popularity, whilst the Food Zone housed some of the country’s finest produce to try and buy.

Country Fest could not run without a fantastic team of dedicated stewards and volunteers, and we would like to thank them all heartily for their hard work on the run up the event, as well as during and afterwards.  Without them, Country Fest would not be the success it is, and with word spreading about this great family event, we hope to see it continue to prosper.

Country Fest 2017 Poultry Show Results

Rabbit Show Results

1K Trail Race Results

Terrier Racing Results

Terrier Show Trophy Winners

Rare Breeds Young Shepherds

2016

What a fantastic Country Fest 2016!

On behalf of the Society, a huge thank you to everyone who visited the Showground over the weekend and helped to make the event so successful.

From the YFC Tug of War to parachuting teddy bears, chef demos to fabulous cakes, Poultry & Rabbit Shows to Rare Breeds‚ Young Shepherds, Jez Avery‚  Stunt Show to Sheepdog Trials, along with packed demonstration areas, yummy food, beautiful crafts, Why Farming Matters, Vintage Revival and stunning kite displays there was certainly lots to see and do for all the family. Thank you also to all the exhibitors and demonstrators who were such a vital part of the event, including SmileFactor10, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Jez Avery, the Fell Pony Display Team, Ferretworld, the many & varied musicians and the amazing young dancers from Rigney Bank Ballet School and Elite Dancers.

Photos, further reports and results will be posted over the coming days, so please keep checking back.

In the meantime, next year‚ Country Fest will take place on 3th & 4th June 2017.

Hope to see you then!

  • Poultry Show Results
  • Rabbit Show Results
  • 10Km Trail & 1Km Mini Results
  • Terrier Racing Results
  • Terrier Trophy Winners
  • Sausage Making
  • Bake a Cake

2015

What a fantastic Country Fest 2015!

On behalf of the Society, a huge thank you to everyone who visited the Showground over the weekend and helped to make the event so successful.

From the National Trailboat Festival to parachuting teddy bears, chef demos to fabulous cakes, YFC Tug of War to Rare Breeds‚ Young Shepherds, Pony Club games to Sheepdog Trials, along with packed demonstration areas, yummy food, beautiful crafts, Why Farming Matters, Vintage Revival and absolutely stunning kite displays there was certainly lots to see and do for all the family.¬†Thank you also to all the exhibitors and demonstrators who were such a vital part of the event, including SmileFactor10, Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Stunt Monkey, the 4 Pony Clubs, Cuerden Birds of Prey, the many & varied musicians and the amazing young dancers from Rigney Bank Ballet School.

Photos, further reports and results will be posted over the coming days, so please keep checking back.

In the meantime, next year‚ Country Fest will take place on 4th & 5th June 2016.  Hope to see you then

2014

What a fantastic Country Fest 2014!

A celebration of food, countryside and record breaking firsts were on the menu at this year‚ Country Fest.  Blessed with good weather, more than 14,000 people flocked to the County Showground to enjoy the feast for all senses, with varied entertainment and activities on offer, where visitors were treated to jazz bands cookery demonstrations, agricultural displays and stalls filled with information and tasty treats.

From clothing to pet supplies, garden plants to eco boilers, military vehicles to strawberries and cream, the Showground was positively full of a wide range of exhibits.  Now in its sixth year, the Food Zone presented a huge array of deliciously tempting tasters provided by local producers whilst a packed craft and lifestyle marquee ensured lots of choice.  Returning by popular demand, the Vintage Revival marquee was a must for every visitor, with stunning displays, great theming and a magnificent old-fashioned tea room which had everyone drooling over the cakes and pastries on offer.

A highlight was the record-breaking purple teddy bear Oscar made by locally based Craig Harby of Smile Factor10.  Measuring an incredible 19.2m (63′) Oscar was recorded as being the worlds largest teddy bear.  Stunning kite flying displays, by Smile Factor10, could be seen from far afield with the skies above the Showground filled with colour as kites of all shapes and sizes delighted the crowds.  Meanwhile Josh Mitcheson, at just 16 years old and current European champion, and Graham Lockwood wowed the crowds with stunt kite flying demonstrations in the arena and children reveled in taking their teddies parachuting!

A top-drawer line-up ensured the Food Theatre was extremely popular with demonstrations from Britain’s Best Bakery judge Peter Sidwell, Cumbria Chef of the Year Kevin Tickle of Rogan & Co, alongside Aidan Monks of Lovingly Artisan and Bruno Birkbeck of The Highwayman.  Visitors overwhelmingly chose David Knipe of Heartwood Poultry‚ free range chicken over supermarket offerings whilst Marianne Woodend of The Bakery at No 4 wowed with her baking skills.

The Why Farming Matters marquee was a hive of activity throughout the weekend with excellent displays and livestock taking visitors on a journey from farm to plate.  Alongside the real animals, the Society‚ Jig-Cow, Jig-Pig and Jig-Sheep certainly provided food for thought!  Very much family focused, there was also plenty of activities for children with jugglers, face painting, donkey rides, traditional fair and a chance to meet the animals at Pets Corner.

The packed main ring programme also included motor stunts by Jez Avery, falconry, carriage driving by Robert Dixon,  motor cycle displays, Lakeland Historic Car Club and the ever popular terrier racing.

With so much to see and do Country Fest really was an event for the whole family, hope to see you next year.

2013

What a fantastic Country Fest 2013!

Sunshine from beginning to end ensured the summer show season got off to a welcome start as thousands flocked to the fifth Country Fest at Crooklands. Almost 13,000 people came to the County Showground to enjoy the varied entertainment and activities on offer where visitors were treated to jazz bands, cookery demonstrations, agricultural displays and stalls filled with information and tasty treats.

From clothing to pet supplies, garden plants to range cookers, the Showground was positively full of a wide range of exhibits. The Food Zone tempted taste buds with local produce whilst a packed craft and lifestyle marquee ensured lots of choice. New for 2013, the Vintage Revival marquee was a must for every visitor, with stunning displays, great theming and a magnificent old-fashioned tea room which had everyone drooling over the cakes and pastries on offer.

The Food Theatre was extremely popular with demonstrators including the Samling Hotel, Martin McMillan from Infusion and Stuart Walton of Whinney Brow Eating House. Returning by popular request, former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson, showcased recipes from his new northern cookbook, whilst Peter Gott and David Knipe demonstrated butchery skills.

The Why Farming Matters marquee was a hive of activity throughout the weekend with excellent displays and livestock taking visitors on a journey from farm to plate. Alongside the real animals, the Society’s Jig-Cow, Jig-Pig and Jig-Sheep certainly provided food for thought! Very much family focused, there was also plenty of activities for children with jugglers, face painting, water balls, traditional fair and a chance to meet the animals at Pets Corner.

Stunning kite flying displays, by Smile Factor10, could be seen from far afield with the skies above the Showground filled with colour as kites of all shapes and sizes delighted the crowds. Meanwhile Josh Mitcheson, at just 15 years old and current European champion, wowed the crowds with stunt kite flying demonstrations in the arena and children reveled in taking their teddies parachuting!

The packed main ring programme also included pony club games from the Oxenholme club, carriage driving by Robert Dixon, falconry, motor cycle displays, Lakeland Historic Car Club and the ever popular terrier racing.

With so much to see and do Country Fest really was an event for the whole family, hope to see you next year.

2012

Sunshine from beginning to end was the recipe for a sizzling Country Fest 2012.

More than 11,000 people flocked to the Showground to enjoy the varied entertainment and activities on offer. Visitors were treated to jazz bands, cookery demonstrations, agricultural displays and stalls filled with information and tasty treats.  With more demand for trade stand space the Showground was positively full of a wide range of exhibits, many of them local to the area.

Clothing, pet supplies, garden plants, cars, wedding fayre, renewable energy along with a packed craft marquee ensured lots of choice, whilst the Food Zones tempted taste buds and Premier Event Bars, standing in at the last minute, ensured real ale quenched the thirst.  Returning by popular request, the children from Levens Primary School again amazed onlookers with their culinary talents in the Food Theatre.  Special guests were Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Foundation apprentice chefs who prepared Tuscan Liver Pate from Peter Gott’s wild boar.

The Why Farming Matters marquee certainly took visitors on a journey from farm to plate, including livestock, model farm, sheep shearing, Lancashire & Westmorland Hedgelaying Association demonstration hedges & the NFU’s Farming Roadshow alongside Clarissa the new wooden beef cow made by Paul Duckett.  Very much family focused, there were also plenty of activities for children with jugglers, face painting, water balls and a chance to pet a range of animals.

Packs & Tracks, organised by Cumbria Bridleways, celebrated the role that people and horses have played for centuries in shaping the county‚ landscape with equine demonstrations of all descriptions.  The companion dog and terrier shows proved very popular, as were the sheepdog trials with almost 150 entries.  A packed programme in the demonstration arena, including the Vander Space Wheel, Sheep Racing, Falconry ensured Country Fest 2012 really was a Feast for all Senses.

The Society is very grateful for the support of media sponsor

2011

The County Showground at Crooklands was buzzing over the May Bank Holiday weekend, when over 10,000 people attended the third Country Fest.  Poor weather failed to deter visitors who joined in the wide array of activities on offer.

Forty independent food and drink producers and suppliers, who give the region its culinary reputation, tempted the senses whilst crafters and outdoor stands provided many opportunities to try and buy.  Over in the Food Theatre the youngsters from Levens School were definitely the stars of the show.  Host, Peter Gott, was amazed by their confidence and skill in demonstrating how to make pizza (all by hand), cheese and chive bread, salads and flapjack. Those kids are a real inspiration, 10-year old chefs displaying such confidence in the kitchen.  Also demonstrating their culinary skills were Claire Lara, first female winner of MasterChef, the Professionals, former Coronation Street star Sean Wilson of Saddleworth Cheese, Diana Brown of Britains Best Dish, Yelly de Jong and other local chefs.

Generously supported by the NFU, the Why Farming Matters area took visitors on a journey from farm to plate and included sheep shearing, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry alongside a new jigsaw pig, made by member Paul Duckett.  Rare Breeds and Pygmy Goats, alongside a pets corner also ensured there were lots of animals to see and wherever possible farmers were on hand to answer visitors questions about agriculture.

The family focused event also included music, dance, a grow your own‚ area, crafts, trade stands, beer festival, dog shows and even a Wedding Fayre.  Sheep dog trials were a new addition this year, attracting over 130 entries from as far afield as USA.  This has been a great event said organiser David Harrison, the Swaledale hogs certainly tested the competitors, but we have delighted with the turnout and support.

Rounding off Country Fest, revellers danced the night away with a Ceilidh and Beer Festival.

2010

Rain failed to stop over 9,000 visitors flocking to the second Country Fest held at the end of May. While rain forced the guests into marques to escape Saturdays wet weather it didn’t stop the events going ahead as planned; fortunately Sunday was blessed with bright sunshine. Activities included helicopter rides, cookery demonstrations, stunts from Zero Gravity Mountain Bike display team and canal boat rides.

Marquees housed over 70 food producers and crafters.  The Food Theatre was extremely popular especially when ex Coronation Street star turned cheesemaker Sean Wilson wowed the packed audience with his mouth watering demonstrations.

The Why Farming Matters area, organised by Westmorland County Show Society members was busy throughout the weekend with excellent displays and livestock helping to link food and farming. Whilst the Pets Corner with Greenlands Farm Village and Lakeland Maize Maize proved a real hit with the younger visitors.

The Companion Dog Show was won by Angela Grisedale from Milton with her German shorthaired pointer

2009

What a weekend! The first ever Country Fest has drawn almost 10,000 visitors to the Westmorland County Showground at Crooklands for the inaugural two-day event.

Months of hard work paid off for organisers, the Westmorland County Agricultural Society, whose efforts were blessed with clear blue skies each day and rising temperatures. The consensus of visitors suggests that Country Fest has not only successfully replaced the Food Lovers Festival which folded last year, but managed to bring a whole new dimension to the important link between food and farming.

A delighted Chief Executive Christine Knipe said “by staging a truly family-orientated event, Country Fest had attracted lots more people than may otherwise have come through the gates.” A wide ranging list of activities and demonstrators ensured Country Fest lived up to its promise in making sure there was something for everyone. From the Food Festival to the Beer Festival, the Craft Marquee to the Grow Your Own Zone, the Pets Corner to Predator Experience, the Companion Dog Show to the Why Farming Matters area, the Showground was buzzing from start to finish.

Guest of honour, the celebrity chef and countryside personality Clarissa Dickson Wright – who is also an ardent admirer of the Westmorland County Show – said she was delighted to be able to lend her support to Country Fest. “I think this event is just the right size and it is so wonderful to see so many small food producers.”