Get the knowhow at the Spring Festival

1 May 2015

Next month sees the return of the Royal Welsh Spring Festival to the showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells on 16-17 May.

The festivals roots have always very firmly been smallholding, gardening and sustainable living and over the years the event has evolved and embraced a wide range of activities and attractions with something to interest everyone.

But not only is the festival an action-packed family day out, it also offers visitors the chance to learn, build on their experiences and gain advice from the many experts at hand.

In the new dedicated Smallholders Centre, located in the South Glamorgan Exhibition Hall, aspiring smallholders will be able to visit the ‘Getting Started’ stand, sponsored by Agri Wales. Here you will be able to ask for guidance, speak to experts, pick up some literature and be advised where else to visit within the festival to get the most out of your visit and the information you need.

The Smallholder Centre will also include the popular Speakers Corner, sponsored by Berkeleyparks, with free talks on a range of subjects including beekeeping, repair cafes, choosing and keeping chickens, pygmy goats, smallholders insurance, and shooting, conservation and pest control. There will also be a launch of the new Welsh Government’s Cattle Keepers’ Guide to Safeguarding Health here at 4pm on the Saturday.

The Speakers Corner in the new Smallholder Centre will host free talks on a range of subjects including beekeeping, keeping chickens, and pest control.

Knowledge thirsty festival goers will also be able to take advantage of the 10-minute talk shops, supported by Organic Centre Wales, in the Sustainable Living exhibition with quick fire talks on Growing food in public spaces, Compost toilets, Solar and its role in society and the Welsh Grain Forum, amongst other subjects.

There will also be an opportunity to join in and take advantage of the Gardeners Question Time in the Floral Hall. Talks will include Marketing of Welsh produce without supermarkets, Welsh flower growing for floristry and turning a field into a garden. We are also very privileged to have Dame Margaret Anstee giving a talk on ‘Gardens of a World Traveller’. Dame Margaret Anstee served in the UN for over four decades, rising to the rank of under-secretary-general in 1987, the first woman to hold a position at this level.

Budding pig keepers will also be treated to a series of talks and demonstrations on pig health, AI, pig ground management and adding value to pork through direct sales.

If your interest is in sheep then why not pay a visit to the sheep area where you will find Mr Tim Tyne doing sheep handling workshops throughout the two days. Mr John Till and Mr Gareth Owen with years of experience in blade shearing will also be holding various demonstrations and will happily offer advice on all aspects of sheep shearing. You could even take have a go in the new novice sheep ‘have a go’ class. We’ll provide the sheep and some expert advice… you could walk away with the rosette!

Along with all the displays, interactive stands and demonstrations the Spring Festival really is the one-stop-shop for everyone interested in rural life.

For timetables of the talks and more information on the Spring Festival, please visit ww.rwas.co.uk

Tickets for the festival can be bought on the gate or in advance online or by calling 01982 553683.