New Forest Show 2016 in pictures
The 2016 New Forest and Hampshire County Show brought together its usual vast array of people, animals and machines which form the integral parts of our rural way of life. It was as popular as ever this year, helped by mostly dry weather and around 95,000 people descended on New Park near Brockenhurst to enjoy the festival atmosphere. Here are some of our favourite moments from this year.
Livestock competitions are always a huge part of the show, each day the best sheep and cattle hold a grand parade in the main show ring. Below are my personal favourite sheep, I believe they are called Valais Blacknose. They look amazing!
Horses are of course centre stage for much of the show, with high quality showjumping competitions alongside heavy horses and hackneys.
The undoubted star attraction at the show in 2016 was the Metropolitan Police Activity Ride who brought an amazing display of precision horsemanship to the main ring and the crowds were packed into every available space to see them.
There was also a different kind of horsepower on display with a parade of a varied selection of tractors, some very antique but still going strong.
Away from the main show rings there were hundreds of trade stands, local food producers and interest groups. The Countryside area features local sporting pursuits of which my favourite is falconry (I’m not so keen on the ones involving guns).
Other than that, the New Forest Show is just a great place to meander around and there are always a few quieter spots away from the crowds where you can get a sense of nature even at such a busy event.
But I think my favourite part of the show this year was the “Heart of the Forest” area where I got the chance to talk to fellow nature lovers about bats, badgers, hedgehogs, swifts and hear all manner of other wildlife anecdotes and bits of useful local information.
The New Forest Show only lasts 3 days, make sure you spend at least a few of the other 362 per year out there exploring what make the forest such an amazing place to spend time!