The Heathfield and District Agricultural Society’s Show takes place on Saturday. This jewel in the crown of Sussex one day shows, offers something for everyone, whatever the weather.
This year show organisers have announced that all children under the age of 16, who are accompanied by an adult, will have free entry. This is an innovative decision which will encourage families to enjoy an affordable superb day out at this annual event.
There is a vast and diverse array of displays, livestock classes, trade stands and entertainment which are fun, educational and full of surprises. Also a wide variety of shopping for all the family from combine harvesters to corn dollies, fresh farm produce to pashminas, to mention some.
This year the show includes a ‘New Enterprise Zone’ which is aiming to promote start-up businesses, a Micro-Brewery Festival and a Children’s Showground Trail.
The ‘Kangaroo Kid’, present as a thrilling troupe of motor cycle riders performing dare devil stunts. The Southdown and Eridge Hunt, always a popular attraction, offers an opportunity for the kids to experience at first hand the friendly, if not over friendly, pack of hounds.
The prize winning cattle, sheep and pigs can be seen in the stock lines, where their handlers are only too happy to answer questions and allow the public to experience a close encounter with their charges. The cattle parade will take place at 4pm.
It is vital that these events are well supported, they offer the public an opportunity to experience a broad spectrum of rural life, the important role agriculture plays in sustaining and enhancing the countryside, and the crucial contribution it makes to the rural economy across many diverse related industries.
It is all too easy in today’s world, as we go about our daily routine of work, school, and visits to the supermarket or online shopping, to forget there is a wonderful and often unexplored wealth of locally produced products available on our door step.
It is noteworthy to see the Prime Minister has reappointed Liz Truss as Defra secretary, and promoted Hasting’s Amber Rudd as the new Energy Secretary.
Those amongst the farming community who have encountered Liz Truss since she replaced Owen Patterson, have been reassured by the way she very quickly gained an understanding of, and took charge of her brief. She appeared willing to listen to our concerns , and more importantly act swiftly upon them.
The difficulties she inherited regarding the SFP (Single Farm Payment) delays, is unfortunate as she has had to handle farmers concerns and frustrations. However, she quickly recognised the inability for the new on-line service to cope with the large amount of data being downloaded, as farmers attempted to complete their applications.
Her decision to extend the application window by four weeks was welcomed and indeed necessary. I believe the new forms and requirements are not as complicated as has been suggested. Having at last found time to read the instructions, fill it in, sign, photocopy and send it off to the poor people waiting in Worksop to process it, the task seemed fairly straight forward.
Christopher Booker was somewhat unflattering regarding Amber Rudd’s ability to ‘keep our lights on’, in the Sunday Telegraph. He is of the opinion that she is over influenced by the green lobby and her policies will drive the country towards ‘power poverty’. I shall be surprised if that is so, as I believe Miss Rudd is bright, practical and feisty, not one to be over influenced by anyone, let alone the green lobby.
I doubt she has blinkered views or pre-conceived inflexible opinions regarding this important subject. I am certain she will approach the country’s energy needs with an open mind and will be willing to listen to the experts from all quarters before driving the agenda.
No doubt if invited, she would happily meet Mr Booker, for whom I have huge respect, to hear his views, which are so often spot on.
This week the new summer train timetable has been delivered. People living in Wivelsfield, Worlds End and the surrounding area are not happy. As reported in the national press, rail bosses have decided to ‘improve’ the 7.29 from Brighton to Victoria service, which has apparently, the worst record for time keeping in Britain, by not stopping at Wivelsfield station!
This decision will inconvenience hundreds of commuters who rely heavily upon this train service. Many I know bought or rented properties close to this station, entirely due to this particular train.
The result of this ‘improved’ service, will mean commuters having to drive to Haywards Heath an already congested town at peak times, and where there is insufficient parking, to catch this train.
I think this move has been taken without considering the needs of passengers and the consequences, and should be re visited.