The Hampshire Country Fair
Date: 4th-5th May
Location: Netley Marsh Showground, Meadowmead Farm, Netley Marsh, Hampshire, SO40 7GY
What is happening at the Hampshire 2014 Country Fair?
Hampshire celebrates its own country traditions for the 19th year running, with the fabulously entertaining and popular Hampshire Country Fair 2014. Held in the beautiful grounds of the Broadlands Estate near Romsey, with its many royal and historic associations, it’s the perfect place to visit during the Jubilee weekend over the May Bank Holiday! This year many exciting new events and displays join the old favourites to create a truly exceptional visitor experience.
Why is this country fair a great day out?Spectacular Arena entertainment shows are at the heart of The Hampshire Country Fair, providing first class entertainment from some of the countryside’s top sports names. For the Game Fair 2012, the country fair will feature a total of three separate arenas! Some of the great shows are:
- The Main Arena will host a number of Falconry Display's throughout the weekend. Visitors will be able to see Hawks, Falcons, Buzzards and Owls to name but a few.
- Mounted Games are a series of very fast races, exciting for participants and spectators alike, performed by young people on ponies in our large main arenas. The teams have a competitive spirit which nevertheless requires an ability to work together with other riders and a willingness to help one another.
- Tom Longton demonstrates the special bond between a man and his dog in his herding displays, which feature ducks, geese and sheep!
- Trochry Gun Dogs are breeders and professional trainers of English Springer Spaniels, Cocker Spaniels and Labrador Retrievers. The dogs are trained and worked on the Blenheim Palace Estate shoots. Not all owners of gundogs get to see what is expected from the dogs on shooting days, so the aim is to demonstrate the extent of work carried out by these dogs.
- Join Fly Casting Demonstrations with Tim Gaunt-Baker and the Salmon and Trout Association. Tim will be demonstrating all the fly-casting techniques with both single-handed and double handed rods; plus, in between his Demonstrations, you will be able to have a lesson right at the show!
- Simon Whitehead of Pakefield Ferrets will be demonstrating in his own unique manner, the why, what, when, where and how’s of ferreting. During his twice daily demonstrations Simon will be showing why the ferret, the ferreter’s dog and the ferreter himself are fast becoming a more sought after pest controller in the countryside and towns of the UK.
- Join in with a Fishing Demonstration with Peter Johnson. An interactive display of casting techniques and accuracy. The demonstration will include casting a rig into hoops set at different distances. A great chance for kids of all ages to "have a go" and compete against each other just for fun.
- At the show this year, visitors can see a shotgun safety arena demonstration. It is a light hearted, entertaining display for all the family and promotes all aspects of gun safety.
You won’t be short of things to do as the Hampshire Country Fair features a number of fantastic specialist places to visit including those listed below:
What can we do at the country fair?
The Falconry VillageMarvel at the beauty of the majestic Birds of Prey at the Falconry Village. They swoop to conquer! The vibrancy of The Falconry Village hosts a multitude of native and worldwide Birds of Prey gathered together, just waiting for their chance to fly! The Falconry Village has two aims: to give visitors the thrill of spectacular flying displays, creating memories to last a lifetime, and to create a wonderful area where visitors can explore all aspects of falconry including health, welfare and legal issues.
- The Owl Show is an interactive display showing nine beautiful owls, each one unique. It includes an informative talk about owl conservation, husbandry and legal issues. The talk also covers different species of owl and how one differs from the next.
- Chrissie’s Owls is a small family run Owl rescue group with a genuine love of owls. With the help of their daughter and family plus some very committed volunteers, they exhibit at craft and country shows throughout the year to help raise funds for their rescue work.
- John Hall helps to run the Wessex Birds of Prey Rescue based in Poole, Dorset. He will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about bird rescue and his work with the charity. He will also give talks and demonstrations with his own birds.
- Ben Long flew his first bird of prey, a kestrel, in 1971, and has been professionally involved in the sport for almost 30 years.
The Dog ZoneThe ever popular Dog Zone is fun, fast and furious! Dog events are an important part of any Country Fair, so quite a few dog events and demonstrations are being held. Every dog and every owner should find something of interest, from simply seeking advice or watching specialist demonstrations, to entering a pet dog into the Fun Dog Show. For more competitive dogs and owners, taking part in the pedigree dog shows or Lurcher racing or Chase the Bunny (pure fun) or working tests or the Gundog Multi-scurry should fit the bill!
- Is your dog the best at scurries? Enter them into the Living Heritage Gundog Multi-Scurry Challenge to find out! It's all about a timed retrieve over three courses with a chance to qualify for the finals with prizes to be won.
- The Mullenscote Gundog Clinic here at the Hampshire Country Fair is the perfect opportunity for you to come along and chat through any problems you might be having with your dog or bring your dogs along and we’ll show you some techniques to assist with any problem behaviours you might be experiencing.
- The 2014 Lurcher racing season gives everyone the chance to take part and enjoy themselves in a friendly and warm atmosphere. Whether you are new to the Lurcher scene or a seasoned competitor, the events are a unique chance for all the family to become involved and to have a real chance of taking home a prize! The show schedule incorporates a wide range of classes, offering something for everyone. The Bullcross championship is a brand new addition this year too. All the best in-show winners qualify for the prestigious championship finals at the end of the year, with some great prize money up for grabs.
Craft VillageCrafts have always been present at the fairs, originally as a small craft area, and building up over the years to include specialist demonstrations areas such as glassblowing, rural skills, Blacksmiths and chainsaw carving. Today, the craft area is a show within a show; an integral part of the fair.
- It's fun time for kids! Their chance to make a face and throw a pot without getting into trouble! Children love the Make and Take stand were they can do a variety of activities and make something to take home and treasure, from paint a pot and sand art to making a necklace.
- Visit the walking stick stand, a firm favourite at all the Country Fairs. Beautifully crafted and painted walking sticks to admire and treasure. A true country skill, enjoyed by generations.
- Get you buzz on with chainsaw carving! Experience the timeless beauty of these individually hand-carved sculptures as they are crafted at the Hampshire Country Fair s this year. Purchase one and they will create a lasting impression in your home, conservatory or garden.
Vintage Vehicle SectionThe Vintage Vehicle Section covers a wide variety of vintage vehicles and machinery. From classic cars and bikes to impressive Steam Engines, Tractors, Miniatures and Stationary Engines. All of which were great inventions of their time, well thought of and have been cherished and looked after by enthusiasts for generations. Clubs and Associations display these wonderful vehicles and machinery at a number of local events.
- Tractors are an important part of country life, both past and present. The introduction of machinery such as tractors and stationary engines revolutionised farm work.
- View the Stationary Engine Section, a selection of small devices invented to produce energy and movement to complete an array of tasks. From pumping water to chopping wood they revolutionised farming in the early part of the 20th century.
- A superb display of vintage steam engines, for visitors to enjoy and reminisce about. A real thrill to see vintage machines, beautifully restored and working on the day. The smell of burning coal and the noise of the blowing whistle makes for a unforgettable experience; plus there are special Miniature Steam Engines at this year’s show.
Target Field SportsExceptional tuition, competition and 'Have a Go' sessions at every country fair, target field sports are fun and waiting to be enjoyed! Target Field Sports are traditionally associated with hunting and pest control, although nowadays, the sports are mostly done for fun. Visitors are welcome to come and “have a go” at all of the target sports on the day; plus the more experienced can enter a series of competitions.
- Field Archery is a modern version of an ancient art - meeting somewhere between golf and darts! ACA is a Coaching and Entertainment group and offers show visitors the chance to use superbly built compound bows with sights, stabilisers and carbon fibre arrows. Targets include traditional circular faces., balloons and 3-D Field archery targets from Rinehart USA - including a realistic dinosaur!
- Airgun target shooting (air gunning) is a popular sport and pastime, which is well regarded within country life both as a sport and for practical pest control. The best tuition, coaching and advice for target sports is available at the fair in 2014. There is also a competition for juniors.
Food Glorious FoodFood Glorious Food showcases some of the best local and regional produce in the culinary market place today. Now a main feature at each fair - Food Glorious Food is accompanied by local and national retailers.
- Time to meet the chefs! Game cookery demonstrations with top chefs appearing in the Country Kitchen for Food Glorious Food and Game-To-Eat. Tony Robertson and Rob Marles are just two of the chefs who aim to show visitors how to prepare and cook country fare and other tasty and healthy meals.
AnglingAngling is one of the most popular sports and pastimes. Its popularity has increased over the years and people of all ages and walks of life enjoy the many different types of fishing available in the UK today.
- Carrilon will be running their UK Fly Casting Competition at the Country Fair. The competition is unique in that it is more challenging than its alternative fly casting competitions of distance casting and in-line hoop-to-hoop accuracy events. In this event candidates cast at 5 targets around a course that proficient fly fisherman would expect to use in actual fishing situations.
- The Angling Trust is on hand to teach and demonstrate the skill of fishing, its practices and principles. Expert 'have a Go' lessons are available for everyone to enjoy. Even at fairs without water visitors can still practice dry skill techniques in the fishing arena.
- The Salmon and Trout Association is holding fly fishing demonstrations and competitions again this year at most fairs, along with their hugely popular 'Have a Go' sessions.
- Peter Johnson appears at the fair to demonstrate the age old art of split cane rod making. Fascinating to watch and enjoyable to listen to, Peter brings this skill to life.
- The Game Anglers Instructors Association is hosting free 'Have a Go' lessons at the fair this year. For beginners who want to learn to fly cast and for experienced fly casters and fishers who want to learn more skills.
The country fair is takes place at the Broadlands Estate, near Romsey in Hampshire. Gates open at 8am and close at 6pm.
Where is The Hampshire Country Fair held?
- Adult - £12.00
- OAP - £11.00
- Child - £4.00 (under 5’s go free!)