Help for smallholders at Royal Welsh Spring Festival

8 April 2013

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s two-day Spring Festival is the place to visit if you are thinking of becoming a smallholder because it is a rich source of information and guidance for those interested in this rewarding pastime.

Domestic livestock on a modest scale are easier to keep than many people imagine but there are pitfalls and the Spring Festival can alert the would-be smallholder to the do’s and don’ts and what to expect when embarking on such an enterprise.

A ‘Getting Started’ service organised for last year’s Festival is being further developed for the 2013 event where anyone in search of smallholding advice can drop in at the friendly helpdesk situated in the livestock area. There they can find out all about the practicalities of stock keeping and tap into the large pool of expertise at the Festival by picking up a leaflet and following a ‘getting started’ trail which will guide them through the many demonstrations and talks taking place in the different areas of the Festival.

As well as talks at each livestock section on the care and management of Dairy, Pygmy and Angora goats, aspects of pig keeping and a variety of British breeds, there are sheep handling workshops and demonstrations and sheepdog training and other activities.

The helpdesk is manned by Ms Helen Barnes and Mrs Janet Phillips who, with the aid of a large flow chart, will dispense advice and information and also provide guidance on the regulations which nowadays are a compulsory part of keeping livestock.

“All these regulations may sound rather daunting but having talked several soon-to-be smallholders through the process I think anyone can learn to live with them,” said Helen.

This year’s Spring Festival takes place on the Royal Welsh showground at Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, on May 18 and 19.