On a bank holiday, what could be better than getting into the countryside and eating tasty food while admiring the work of expert craftspeople? It’s my idea of heaven, at least, so when I saw an ad for the Countryside Show at Beacon Hill, Leicestershire, I had to get tickets.
There were numerous demonstrations from sheepdog and falconry displays to lumberjack shows.
You could try your hand at weaving baskets – or structures.
And all around were organisations promoting woodland preservation and renovation.
I met up with The Crop Club, who kindly gave me a ‘garden in a bag’ to review. My partner and I also had a long chat with a stallholder about bushcrafts and leaf identification, and we will be booking in for a bushcraft course soon, learning fire-making, survival skills and building structures from woodland materials.
The food and drink at the show was great and reasonably priced, from coffee roasted in Nottingham to hog sausage rolls, ice cream to cake.
There was an outstanding jam seller who was generous with tasters. I bought some raspberry and elderflower jam, as elderflowers are out of season. I am also now inspired to make my own pear and ginger jam having tasted some at the show and got some recently foraged pears awaiting preparation (I’m making pear and ginger liqueur too).
I had a lovely time making a bat ring with Leicester and Rutland Bat Trust, and was surprised to see how tiny bats are. I will be making an origami bat soon too.
As if that wasn’t enough, there was outstanding woodwork galore.
For £8 (advance – £10 on day) the Countryside Show was a great day out with lots to enjoy. Whether you want to grow new plants and trees, eat local home-cooked food, find a hand crafted gift or get more involved with helping protect and save wildlife, the Countryside Show has something for you. If GrowEatGift was a show, it would be this one.