Each year, on the Bank Holiday, North Somerset celebrates the season’s first agricultural show: The North Somerset show. This year’s show will fall on May 2, on a Monday and features special events such as tractor pulling competitions, horse shows, terrier racing, musical rides and pony club games. There are also horse and livestock exhibits and competitions as well as live blacksmith competitions, rural crafts, vintage tractors and farm machinery, children’s entertainment, and the famous Cavy Show which feature over 200 hamsters and guinea pigs. Apart from the shows, there are also trade stands and a sale of the best of Somerset’s local produce.
The North Somerset Show is an event that was started by the North Somerset Agricultural Society, which had been formed from the North Somerset Ploughing Society in 1840 by a small group of farmers. The aim of the society is to advance agricultural development by spreading awareness of agricultural issues and through exhibitions that the local, general public may enjoy.
This year’s events feature several firsts, such as the Rockwood Dog Display team which will be performing in the main arena. The event will also feature a log-chopping contest by the South West Axe men, as well as a sheep show where people will get to learn the different breeds of sheep in addition to watching a shearing demonstration. Another new addition to the line-up of this year’s activities includes a falconry display by Jemima Parry-Jones International Center for Birds of Prey. The event will also feature a gun dog display, a dog agility display, a large horse show, a show jumping competition, and a class for show ponies. There will also be rides and attractions for children and some special countryside area that showcase displays of ancient countryside crafts and traditions.
The North Somerset Show used to take place at Ashton Court near Bristol. Apart from the show, the society holds other events throughout the year including the annual Ploughing Match and Produce Show every second Saturday in September. The North Somerset Show this year will be held at the Bathing Pond Fields.
Bathing Pond Fields is a site that had been bought and is now managed by the North Somerset Agricultural Society. It is located in Wraxall and Failand England. The site was once part of Tyntesfield Estate which belonged to the late Lord Wraxall and is now owned by the National Trust. The site was named Bathing Pond Fields because it has a Grade II listed Victorian Bathing Pond located at the center. They believe that the Gibbs family, who built Tyntesfield House, also built the Bathing Pond.
Apart from holding the traditional agricultural show on the first Bank Holiday Monday in May, the North Somerset Agricultural Society also plans to hold an educational resource on this site to cater to certain subjects within the national curriculum such as conservation, land use, food production, health, and environmental matters. The society also hopes that other local communities would make full use of the site.