The Liberty Sisters Serenade the Crowds at the County Show

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Amongst the many attractions to be found at this year’s county show, few sounded as sweet as The Liberty Sisters. The trio of vocalists, Ruby, Rose and Dolly, took to the stage to sing to the crowds of the Garden & Crafts tent. The band performed a mix of vintage jazz, swing and contemporary songs whilst their mascot, Daisy the terrier, drew in adoring fans throughout the day. The Liberty Sisters drew in many spectators during each time they stepped up to the microphone and drew a rapturous applause after each song.

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Written by Charlie Woods.

Photographs by Nicky Woods.

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Panda Exclusive from mainland China!

From Sophie Whiting, in Panda Valley, Dulyangyan, China.

Sophie is one of the original members of the All Points West reporting team and currently working on an education project in the far east.

Chengdu is the home to giant panda’s and they have a research base dedicated to the lives of pandas. One will often say if you don’t see panda’s, did you even visit China?!

The research base is formed up of giant pandas and red pandas which are both adorable as each other. The grounds are big and open which allows plenty of space for the panda’s to roam freely amongst the park. It’s great for both the panda’s to have so much space and people to see the a once endangered species.

Within the research base there are two delivery houses which have had brilliant success in the past few months. The pandas have recently given birth to baby pandas which are now a few months old. They are open to see and are very cute! The delivery house was closed due to give privacy to the pregnant panda.

Chengdu has recently set up Panda Valley in Dujiangyan, a field centre that trains pandas to live in the wild. Covering an area of 328.6 acres, the field centre boasts brooks and woods, as well as many kinds of bamboos that can be food for pandas. At the end of 2016, the base was home to 176 pandas, the largest population of captive pandas in the world.

In a bid to keep survival of giant panda’s, the local government are starting to build a giant panda national park on Longmen Mountain which will cover 399,300 acres. In turn, this will provide habitat to 73 wild giant pandas.

Dudley confident of Chiefs victory against Saracens

Exeter Chiefs’ Andrew Dudley is expecting a close encounter with Saracens in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals.

The Community Delivery Manager, who is representing his club at this year’s Devon County Show, believes it’ll be a tight game but that Exeter will progress to the final.

Exeter Chiefs have a merchandise shop and bouncy castle at the 2017 show, and Andrew is pleased with how things have gone so far:

“I’ve been here all three days, and we’ve been selling a lot of car stickers and hats so far, they seem to be the most popular merchandise.”

“This is our third year at the Devon County Show. We’re pretty good at marketing ourselves across the year in general, and it’s always great to have a presence here.”

The Chiefs are facing London based Saracens at Sandy Park this afternoon, having finished runners-up behind Wasps in the regular season.

Saracens finished third, and are battling Exeter for a place in the final at Twickenham.

Dudley added: “I think it’ll be a Chiefs win, but it will be close.”

“It’ll be a game of inches. If I was a betting man, I’d go for a 17-12 scoreline in Exeter’s favour.”

Honda Enjoying First Year at the Show

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Honda are exhibiting with Dave Thorpe Off-Road for the first time at this year’s Devon County Show.

The association sells products such as bikes and kits, as well as providing tuition and race experiences.

Molly and Danny, running the stall for 2017, gave their thoughts on how things are going so far:

“This is our first year at the Show. We normally do a lot of motorcycle shows, so the Devon County Show is a bit different for us.”

“It’s especially good as we can reach a variety of people who aren’t necessarily into motorsport.”

“Plus it’s local for us as well – we’re based in Somerset and we often have to travel to South Wales – so Westpoint isn’t far for us at all.”

“It’s going really well so far this year.”

“We’ve been here before as customers.”

“We’re offering some new discounts especially for the Devon County Show.”

“There is a 10% discount for show visitors who want to come to our courses.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photo by Darryl Stevens.

Harry & William Drawing in Crowds for Donkey Sanctuary

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Harry and William drawing in the crowds for Donkey Sanctuary

A pair of miniature donkeys called Harry and William whooing all the guests for The Donkey Sanctuary.

We spoke to Alice Crawford who is helping to run the stall at this year’s Devon County Show:

“We’ve been at the show for several years now. The donkeys are always a big hit.”

“Saturday’s usually the busiest, with all the children off school.”

“The weather’s good so far in 2017, there’s a frequent trickle of people coming in.”

“We’re especially promoting our Donkey Assisted Therapy schemes at this year’s show.”

Elizabeth Svendsen set up a trust for children and donkeys, which merged with The Donkey Sanctuary in 2012.

“The therapy initially allowed children with additional needs to gain riding experience.”

“We’ve now adapted to provide more groundwork and interaction rather than just riding.”

“Children can decide themselves when to work with the donkeys.”

“We teach life skills, empathy and management. It’s called equine assisted learning.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photo by Darryl Stevens.

Elderflower Cordial Fresh From the Field 

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The ShuteFruit stall is again present in the food and drink pavilion, and for this year’s show they’ve developed a unique twist.

ShuteFruit’s farm, based at Bishopsteignton near Teignmouth, include an ultra-fresh ‘pick your own’ policy where customers can pick their ingredients and watch produce being made before purchase.

For the 2017 Devon County Show, they’re offering some delicious Elderflower Cordial.

Co-owner Lori Reich, speaking at her stall, said:

“We’ve been coming to the County Show for about fifteen years now.”

“We usually sell out of the elderflower cordial by the end of the show, it’s the most popular product.”

“My husband is currently out picking elderflower, which we will produce freshly into this refreshing cordial during the show.”

“We’re actually just reaching the start of the new elderflower season.”

“It has to be watered down because of the strong taste, but even when diluted it’s a refreshing taste.”

“You can put a splash of cordial into a gin and tonic which is really nice.”

“Or you can use it for an elderflower drizzle cake – you don’t need any squeezing like with lemon or orange, it just comes straight from the bottle.”

“And we’ve got lots of other secret recipes including the Elderflower Sorbet, the Devon Spritzer and using the cordial as a salad dressing.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photograph by Nicky Woods.

Young Farmers Could Benefit in Long-Term from Brexit

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There could be an adverse positive effect for young upcoming farmers following Brexit, according to Anthony Gibson.

The former NFU regional director believes a reduction in the value of land could help new entrants to the farming industry.

“Whatever happens, the majority of farmers will adapt eventually, but it will be made quite tough”, explains Anthony.

“Smaller farmers – providing they are debt free and don’t have a mortgage – may be able to survive the next few years just by tightening their belts.”

“Medium-sized farms will probably be most at risk if they have a lot of outgoings which they can’t economise upon.”

“Younger farmers may benefit as land becomes available more readily and cheaply, and it’ll become easier for them to enter the industry.”

Several small farms in the south-west currently receive subsidies from the European Union, grants which are guaranteed up to at least 2020.

“We may see an increase in production of niche products, but there is a limit to how much can be done.”

“For example, some farms may seek to specialise in new organic ranges as they can’t compete on price alone.”

“But niche products are only usually purchased when the economy is strong, and when consumers have disposable income.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photograph by Caitlin Pharoah.

2017 Cheese Competition Bigger Than Ever

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The Devon County Show’s annual cheese awards have attracted a vast range of entries this year.

The cheeses are judged mostly on flavour, as well as presentation and other credentials.

Chief Steward of Dairy Produce, Sarah Hammett, is extremely grateful for the exceptional number of entries which have exceeded 180.

“The 2017 competition has been particularly well supported, and the display is bigger than ever.”

“It’s great that many of this year’s prize winners are Devon-based, including producers such as Torre Valley and Cheddar Gorge.”

“Some are much further afield, and one cheese has been entered from as far as Locherbie in Scotland.”

“We’ve got lots of other varieties – goat’s cheese, cow’s cheese and even buffalo cheese.”

“There’s lots of Cheddar – a traditional cheese which is always very well liked. But soft cheese is also becoming more popular.”

“There was a locally produced celebration cake made of cheese as well which is pretty impressive.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photographs by Nicky Woods.

7 Weird Things You Can See at the Devon County Show

Devon County Show is the South West’s annual highlight, with an array of fun activities. From dog shows to digger simulators, there’s just about something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the wackiest features from this year.

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1. Crazy Creatures

Devon County Show is the place to find the finest furry friends. That includes the fluffiest alpacas you’ve ever feasted your eyes upon.

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2. A Fantastic Stripy Jacket

Nothing boosts the Devon County spirit more than this guy’s stripy blazer.

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3. Big Eared Bunnies

Check out the size of these ears. Devon County Show has the best collection of pedigree rabbits going.

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4. Welly Up

You’ve heard of puss in boots, but what about ducks? Grab yourself one of these for £10 each at this year’s event.

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5. Get Stuck In

Exmoor zoo has brought an array of insects to their stall, from stick insects to praying mantises. With all of these local to England, Exmoor zoo aims to encourage us to explore the outdoors.

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6. Funky Furniture

This is a wheeley good idea for a bench.

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7. Destination: Nowhere

Fancy a drink? Finish the day with a refreshing beverage at Woodsy’s cider bus.

 

Written by Juliet Sawyer.

Photography by Lauren Sawyer.