When you support an event from its original launch it’s lovely to see its success grow, guaranteeing it a place on your yearly calendar.
Countryside Lincs is still in its infancy. We walked through its Lincolnshire Showground gates along with about 1,000 other visitors in 2015. The event increased its offering in 2016 and obviously word had spread as we were joined on the day in 2016 by three times as many people.
So we were delighted to be guests of the event this year when, along with its growing reputation, the glorious weather is sure to have the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society team counting today’s visitor numbers for some time to come.
Whilst there were plenty of things to see at the event celebrating food, farming and the countryside, including a range of animals and a variety of ring displays, it’s the fact there was plenty of things to do too that really got our vote.
From petting a giant tortoise to sitting on huge modern as well as smaller vintage tractors and riding on self-propelled mini ones, to decorating a biscuit to eat, balancing on bouncy balls and helping inject a toy dog back to health – the provision of hands-on activities had been given the highest priority.
Exploring the vintage fire engines that were lined up just past the entrance gate was very timely for Luke who enjoyed a visit from the modern day service earlier in the week at his nursery. If we thought it took a while to get past these vehicles there was a row of vintage tractors waiting just to the side of them and we could still see the car park almost an hour after our arrival as we queued at the behest of the minis to sit on each one in turn.
And the setting lent itself to activities not strictly mentioned on the map too – the warm sunny day gave us pause to take off our shoes and socks and let the grass tickle our toes and a small grassy mound proved great for rolling down on when Luke and Willow (and lots of other younger visitors) were further procrastinating leaving at the end of the day.
We arrived at the Showground within the opening hour of the event and didn’t leave until after the clock struck closing time and we still had a lot more left to do if only we’d have had more hours to do it in – I guess we’ll just have to make sure it’s written in next year’s diary.
And the event’s parting gift – a daffodil plant – will hopefully give us a blooming good reminder to write 2018’s date down after we help it take root in our garden.