Nation diary: Rosettes and rhubarb on the agricultural present | Andrea Meanwell

After a break of 5 years as a result of dangerous climate and Covid-19, the Hawkshead present returned this 12 months to showers and sunshine. Agricultural reveals are key occasions within the Lake District calendar, the place locals and guests meet to share a day of competitions and socialising.

I’ve many completely happy reminiscences of displaying sheep at Hawkshead, however this 12 months the diminished format meant that there have been, sadly, no sheep on the sphere. As an alternative, I take the canine to compete within the canine present. We had had a really profitable Ravenstonedale present not too long ago, profitable the most effective small canine and finest pet prizes.

After our entry charge of £1 was paid, we joined the throng of individuals and their animals ready for the pet courses. The working canine have been proven first – sheepdogs, terriers and lurchers – adopted by the pets. I had entered Elsie, a wire-haired dachshund, within the cutest pet class. We didn’t win this time, however Elsie loved herself assembly all the opposite canine and I loved chatting to different farmers.

Tractors on present at Hawkshead. {Photograph}: Archie Brown

We then sat behind the Land Rover to eat our sandwiches. The sounds of the present swirled round us, the Tannoy asserting fell runners coming into the sphere (“Right here’s an area runner coming in, in third place!”) and calling individuals for competitions (“Can we please have the remaining rivals for the mounted fancy costume pony class to the ring now? And don’t overlook the tug-of-war later at this time.”) Young children ran previous with water pistols, capturing one another and screaming with delight.

Exhibits will be lengthy days; I’ve been recognized to have a fast sleep within the Land Rover after lunch, however at this time I used to be straight again into the present to take a look at the classic tractors lining one facet of the fields, and the economic courses within the barn. There have been some great felted sheep within the craft part, and an array of greens grown domestically. I studied the rhubarb carefully as I’ve quite a bit in my backyard. What makes a winner? Massive thick stalks and having the leaves left on gave the impression to be vital to my untrained eye. Perhaps I may enter rhubarb into native competitions sooner or later.

I’m not usually aggressive, however the place there are marquees, rosettes and different farmers to beat, it does deliver out a need to do nicely.

Nation diary is on Twitter at @gdncountrydiary

Entries to the many competitions at Hawkshead.
Entries to the various competitions at Hawkshead. {Photograph}: Archie Brown

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