When: 8th & 9th October 2011
Where: East Combe, near Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset
£: Adults 10 and children 5 per day. Free car park
What is it?
Ploughing enthusiasts from throughout Great Britain will be converging on a small village in Somerset in October, when the county will host the British National Ploughing Championships & Country Festival.
Two hundred and fifty acres of local farmland, kindly loaned by K S Coles & Son, will be taken over when 265 ploughmen – and five plough-women – will be showing their skills in the art of ploughing and a record crowd is expected to attend this amazing two-day event.
There will be various styles of ploughing – modern tractors pulling conventional and reversible ploughs, three classes with vintage tractors pulling trailing, hydraulic and classic ploughs, and horse-drawn ploughs. Visitors can also see lots of displays of vintage tractors and machinery – displays which focus on Harvesting Through the Ages, with corn binders, reapers, wagons, etc. with the earliest dating from the 1890s, right through to combines and tractors of the 1960s.
Heavy horses are always one of the most popular attractions with spectators where they have chance to watch seventeen pairs of majestic horses at work. These magnificently turned out gentle giants evoke by-gone days when farming was an altogether a slower way of life – what took a man and a pair of horses to plough in a day takes less than an hour to do now. The modern machinery is there too, so for children especially, it is a fantastic way to compare this and to see how farming has changed over the last 200 years or so.
There will be plenty of other family fun over the two days with bouncy castles, craft stalls, tractor and trailer rides making it more than just a ploughing match!
For twenty years or more, England’s ploughing teams have been one of the most successful across the world. Three past World ploughing champions, three past European champions and ten ex-British champions will be taking part in Somerset this year. The prize they are all chasing? The ploughing world’s own Olympics – the honour of representing their country in the 2011 World Ploughing Contest, to be held in Croatia.
More info: www.ploughmen.co.uk