With the Met Office predicting warm and dry weather for early July, the Kent County Show is looking forward to another sunny three days. One of the loveliest parts of the Showground on a bright sunny day is the Woodland Area. Murrain Wood was developed when the Show moved to the Showground at Detling in 1964. Since that time a voluntary committee and team of ground staff have maintained the trees and kept the woodland alive. It is well worth the time to take a leisurely stroll through this tranquil area.
As well as a beautiful walk of discovery, visitors will pass the Belmont Estate Woodland Ring where there is a full programme of displays and demonstrations throughout the three days. Chainsaw sculpture, gypsy flower making, birds of prey, a steam driven sawmill, survival techniques and the National Trust will all feature.
On Friday at 2.30pm there will be the Presentation of the Forestry Awards. The Kent County Agricultural Society will be recognising individuals who have contributed to the industry. The Edward Hardy Trophy for outstanding service to the forestry and woodland industry in Kent over many years was this year awarded to Frankie Woodgate. For over 20 years, Frankie has been responsible for increasing the profile of environmentally friendly woodland management with special emphasis on horse drawn timber extraction.
The CLA Trophy is awarded to an individual or organisation in recognition of outstanding service to the forestry and land management in Kent over many years. This year’s recipient is Sam Bower for his work in saving more than nine hectares of ancient woodland after developments to two major roads threatened their existence.
The R.D Keeler Trophy is awarded to a young individual based in Kent for outstanding achievements within their learning and study of woodland and forestry related subjects. George Hayes received this award for his work as part of the Kent Woodland Employment Scheme and at Wadhurst Park.
New for 2018, the Kent Wildlife Trust will be asking visitors to swap their plastic bottles for a recycled pencil. This initiative is part of the wider campaign to clean up our waterways and oceans from the impact of plastics. The Kent County Agricultural Society has teamed up with Kent Wildlife Trust to launch the #dontloseyourbottle campaign. Use the hashtag when you recycle your plastic to help us keep our waterways clean.
The Woodland Craft area is a great spot to see traditional craftsmen at work on intricate and complicated designs. Find out exactly what wattle hurdles are and admire the gorgeous flowers made from hazel wood. The craftsmen in this area are happy to talk about their craft and all their items are available to buy.
Maytree will be in the Woodland Area showcasing the incredible skills it takes to carve logs of wood into breath taking sculptures. See Maytree at work on all three Show days and witness their demonstrations in the Woodland Ring.
The working horses in the Woodland Area are a fantastic sight to see. These large breeds work closely with conservationists to ensure woodland logging and clearing is completed in an eco-friendly way. Meet owner, Frankie Woodgate, who this year has been awarded the Kent County Agricultural Society Edward Hardy Trophy.
Why not learn Bear Grylls style survival skills with Black Wolf Survival & Bushcraft. Visitors can learn knife sharpening, fire making, knot tying, catapult making, cordage and weaving, foraging and spoon making so you’ll be ready for anything. Or find out more about Girlguiding Kent and Kent Scouts who will be offering a range of child friendly activities and more information about how adults can get involved.
The beautifully crafted miniature railway will be on hand to take you on a journey through the woodland. This year the track has been extended and includes a small road crossing specially created for the Show. The engine including all point work and curves is built to a gauge of 7 ¼ inches. Built in 1976 in Birmingham, ‘James’ was originally used on a private estate until 2004, he then changed hands several times until 2014 when he was acquired by the Claude Jessett Trust. ‘James’ will be running throughout the Show.
Whether you want to relax in the shade, learn about British woodlands and associated crafts or meet the beautiful working horses, there is something for everyone in the Woodland Area at the 2018 Kent County Show.