BMX Riders to Light Up Devon County Show

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See riders perform backflips, huge jumps and spins in their extreme bike battle.

With shows throughout the day, starting at 12.00pm, the professional stunt riders provide tips for you to learn any of the tricks yourself. Riders will be available next to the Show Office, to provide their own tuition as well as bikes and helmets.

Something not to try at home though: Big Pete and the Grim Reaper Monster Truck show, which will be taking its place on Friday and Saturday.

Monster Truck, ‘Big Pete’ is one of the biggest in Europe, weighing a whopping 7.5 tonnes!

Written by Lauren Sawyer.

Photography by Lauren Sawyer.

 

Anthony Gibson: “Brexit has unleashed an earthquake” 

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Former NFU regional director Anthony Gibson is highly concerned about the implications of the UK’s imminent exit from the European Union.

“The vote for Brexit has unleashed an earthquake in the farming landscape”, began Gibson.

“All other things being equal, farming was on an upward trend before the referendum and things were looking well.”

“But that was presuming we would remain as a member of the European Union.”

“There is no guarantee that any government will maintain the funding post 2020.”

“But what’s even more striking is the possible implications of trade deals which will be opened up around the world.”

Anthony Gibson retired from NFU in 2008, and is now involved with the Devon County Show as well as the Royal Bath and West Show

He added: “The USA, New Zealand and many other countries may well be willing to sell their products tariff-free into the UK and undercut our homegrown prices.”

“We’d then just be at the mercy of the British supermarkets.”

“In turn, our own cereals which is our main export into Europe at present, might incur new tariffs which would make their prices uncompetitive.”

“There’s also a lot of uncertainty and it’s very difficult to plan ahead at the moment.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photograph by Nicky Woods.

Tarka Look at this Lager!

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It’s hard to think that Ottery breweries started off with only 12 breweries. Today, with nearly 90, the Ales from Devon tent at the Devon County Show is full to the brim. With a live band, this is essential pit stop for passers-by.

Armed with their new lager, Tarka aims to be up there with the likes of Peroni and San Miguel.

“Tarka is really beginning to become accepted as a proper Devon lager,” says Patrick McCaig, managing director of Otter brewery.

What sets it from the rest is this lager is made only with the bare ingrediants: spring, hops, malt and yeast. “It’s pretty healthy as far as lager goes,” McCaig adds.

This beer takes six weeks to make, whereas the normal cask ales take two. “The reason we do that is it gives it lots of depth of flavour,” says McCaig.

This beer attracts a younger drinker, which is McCaig’s overall aim. “Suddenly the old fashion image is dying and young people are likely to drink this stuff.”

With ales from Devon continuing to grow, who knows where things will be in the years to come.

Written by Lauren Sawyer.

Photographs by Lauren Sawyer.

Reasons to Beeee Optimistic this Summer for Devon Honey Farmers

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A strong season for honey is predicted in Devon, according to Quince Honey owner Paddy Wallace.

The family-run farm is represented at the Devon County Show for the 26th time this year.

Paddy, an award winning beekeeper based in South Molton, is looking forward to a strong summer:

“We’re delighted with the weather at the moment, it’s even picked up a bit since the set-up here on Wednesday.”

“This is the first year we’ve bought our Dandelion Honey. The Devon Flower Honey is always the most popular, it’s the one that people know most well.”

“But people like to get a good range of new and different tastes from the area.”

Quince Honey farm has produced honey for nearly seventy years, first keeping bees in 1949.

They currently maintain more than 1,000 beehives among the wild flowers where bees collect their nectar from.

There is also an adjoining family attraction called BeeWorld – with lots of observation hives where visitors can see right inside the bee’s homes.

“We’re looking forward to a good show and a good season generally this year.”

“We’ve been highlighting the benefits of honey for sufferers of hayfever.”

“There’s a fairly high pollen count expected this summer, and we advise honey to be eaten in moderation all through the winter in order to prepare for when the hayfever comes.”

“We’ve brought some other new product ranges which use the honey – a honey mustard, a curd and some new marmalades.”

Written by Rob Jennings.

Photographs by Nicky Woods.

Only Way is Up for Devon Air Ambulance

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Devon Air Ambulance returns to the annual Devon County show. With a bustling stall, the team aim to spread awareness of the charity at today’s event.

“We’re having a great day,” says Caroline Creer, a member of Devon Air Ambulance. “It’s been very busy and the good weather definitely helps.”

Over the three days of Devon County show, they will typically expect around 10 – 12 members of the public to share experiences with the team, where Devon Air Ambulance has helped them. “People don’t realise that we don’t know everyone we’ve helped,” says Creer. “Days like this are really important to be able to say thanks and gain contact with the community.”

Devon Air Ambulance wishes to be a 24-hour service. This is becoming more possible since the charity’s community landing site. “We’ve got 35 – 40 in the county now,” adds Creer.

With efforts to raise money including a ‘win a car’ stall at this year’s event, Devon Air Ambulance is sure to be a popular attraction with the public.

Written by Juliet Sawyer.

Photograph by Juliet Sawyer.

Latest Addition to the Greyhound Rescue Awes Crowds

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The greyhound society returned to the Devon County show this year, after a busy year of rehoming dogs.

Dave Kiech who is running the stall at the show this year, is part of one of over 50 branches up and down the country who all work to give better lives to greyhounds.

The newest addition, 20 week old, Mr Plum has been lucky enough to be homed but we were able to meet him at the show thanks to him being back for the day for a visit but there are still many waiting to be rescued.

“We rehome retired and non-racing greyhounds” the society works tirelessly to find homes for greyhounds who can no longer race for various reasons.

“When they finish their careers or haven’t made the grade and they don’t race then we look for homes for them.”

With many dogs coming in each year there are plenty to place in loving new homes. ‘They make marvellous pets!’

Written by Jessica Dobson.

Photo by Lauren Sawyer.

Gupworthy Farm Parade Their Cows With Pride

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Thea Woollatt with her Longhorn, Pip

Gupworthy Farm return to display their prized longhorn cattle at the county show this year. Located a few miles from Wheddon Cross at the edge of Exmoor National Park, the farm is known throughout the country for their horned cattle.

Thea Woollatt of Gupworthy Farm introduced us to two of the farms famous animals. First up, Pippacot, a two-year-old ‘Dam’ weighing in at 620 kilos’. Beside her stood Paddington, another two-year-old ‘Sire’ (Dam and Sire being breeds of cattle) who weighs more than 900 kilos’. Gupworthy Farm have been making an appearance for many years and look to do so for many more to come.

Written by Charlie Woods

Photographs by Nicky Woods

Monster Trucks Raring to Go at 2017 Show

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Michael Murty & Oliver Butler with ‘Big Pete’

There are two mega-sized monster trucks present at this year’s Devon County Show.

‘Big Pete’ and ‘Grim Reaper’ are used to flatten old cars into flat pack form.

They will be on display in the Mole Valley Farmers Arena at 11:30 and 17:15 on Friday, and 12:15 and 17:15 on Saturday.

Big Pete – a slightly bigger red monster truck – weighs 7.5 tonnes. The black Grim Reaper is slightly lighter.

They both boast more than 500bhp, and their tyres alone can cost upto £3,500 each.

The duo are used throughout most of the year, and after the Devon County Show will be heading off to Sussex, the North of England and Scotland.

They will also perform at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in August, before concluding their programme for the year in October.

Written by Rob Jennings

Photographs by Nicky Woods & Caitlin Pharoah O’Reilly

WWI Poppy Memorial Exceeds all Expectations

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Entrance to the display

A splendid array of poppies is now on display in the craft and garden centre at the 2017 Devon County Show.

The memorial has been constructed to represent each of the region’s servicemen and women who gave their lives during the First World War.

There was an initial aim to get 11,000 poppies which would have marked everyone from Devon who died in the war.

Eventually more than 33,000 poppies were received – which is enough to commemorate each life lost from Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset put together.

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The brains behind the project, Deborah Custance-Baker

Deborah Custance-Baker, who has overseen the project, says she was completely overwhelmed by the support:

“I took over the running of the craft and garden centre last year. For this year’s show I wanted to do something big in order to mark the World War One centenary.”

“So I gathered some ideas from the Chelsea Flower Show. I saw what they’d done with the poppies to commemorate local lives lost in the war, and I wanted to do the same for Devon.”

“I’m completely overwhelmed by the support, we was expecting to be knitting masses of them ourselves, but as it turned out that wasn’t necessary.”

“I heard several months ago that many of the local wool shops were selling out of material, that’s what gave me a feeling of the scale.”

“We’ve received flowers from freemasons, schools, the Salvation Army, Bradninch Women’s Institute, Plymouth RBL and many other local organisations.”

“The youngest person to make a poppy was aged three, and the eldest was aged 94.”

“We initially set out some patterns for everyone to use, but they’ve all came back with their own individual designs which is great.”

“We’ve even had some produced in Barbados, and some in New Zealand.”

“I’m extremely grateful for all those who have taken part in this fantastic memorial and that there is now a poppy to represent each of those brave people and their individual stories.”

Written by Rob Jennings

Photographs by Richard Lappas & Nicky Woods