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New Forest Show back for 2022 with the usual crowd-pleasing highlights and many new attractions

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AFTER a two-year absence, organisers have finally given the green light to the highly anticipated New Forest Show this year, promising it will be better than ever.

Having been cancelled by the pandemic in 2020 – its centenary year – and 2021, the society that runs the prestigious event has been working to ensure it can make its comeback.

After the first cancellation, organisers had to open an extra campsite and strike deals with dozens of contractors to avert a £2.7m funding shortfall.

Denis Dooley, New Forest Show chief executive
Denis Dooley, New Forest Show chief executive

Last year it was called off months ahead in March amid warnings of bankruptcy from any last-minute stoppage.

But now everything is in place and this week the three-day fixture was officially confirmed for New Park Farm in Brockenhurst on 26th-28th July.

It will feature many of its usual attractions, along with with a few additional highlights introduced specially for its comeback.

Around 500 volunteers will be preparing for the district’s biggest event which regularly draws about 100,000 people and is expected to attract 3,000 show and display animals.

Denis Dooley, chief executive of the New Forest Agricultural Show Society which was founded in 1920 and runs the annual event, said he was delighted to confirm its return after so long.

“It is going to be amazing,” he said. “And we have so many new activities for visitors to enjoy.

“Our focus is interactive educational activities during which the whole family can get involved and have a fantastic day.

“The show is loved by so many, and both our incredible staff and amazing volunteers are working day in day out to make this year the best ever.”

Society president this year is the Duchess of Cornwall – but her diary for July has not yet been confirmed.

Martin Stewart, show society chair, said he could not wait to welcome everyone back: “We’re thrilled to be going ahead with this year’s show.

“We are going to make it as normal and as exciting as possible.

Around 500 volunteers will be preparing for the district’s biggest event
Around 500 volunteers will be preparing for the district’s biggest event

“The New Forest Show is a true celebration of New Forest life, and there is plenty of family fun and education to be had. We look forward to seeing you all there!”

The cancellations in 2020 and 2021 were the only times the event has been stopped for subsequent years other than between 1940 and 1945, during the Second World War.

This year new features will include a Farming Experience Zone run by NFU Mutual, with interactive kids’ activities and expert talks on farm diversification. Visitors to the area can also learn more about local Young Farmers’ Clubs.

There will be baking in the Fun Kitchen, a dog show, floral art, crafting and Forest School activities.

Returning to the show ground will be fearless stunt riders the Atkinson Action Horses, who will wow the crowds with their astonishing display in the Main Ring.

Other animal entertainment includes the Pony Club Mounted Games, the Heavy Horse Musical Drive and the Grand Parade of livestock.

Building on their recent success, the society’s Little New Park Ranger courses will run at the show this year.

These Forest School classes will give children the chance to learn more about the unique characteristics of the Forest with activities including bug hunts, nature detectives and bird identification.

There will also be 400 shopping stands setting up at the showground over the three days.

Tickets for the event are now on sale, with an early bird discounts. Visit www.newforestshow.co.uk

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