North Devon Show is all set to make an eagerly awaited return to Umberleigh Barton Farm on Wednesday, August 1.

Amanda Symms from Kent meets a jersey calf at the North Devon ShowAmanda Symms from Kent meets a jersey calf at the North Devon Show

Despite being cancelled in 2017 due to heavy rain, organisers report the appetite for this year’s show is huge, with almost all of the show space already fully booked.

From 8am-6pm can marvel at an array of livestock, enjoy a huge range of food and produce, shop for crafts and gifts, browse almost 400 trade stands, enjoy displays of rural skills, gaze at countless vintage vehicles, watch attractions in the main ring – and even go to the circus.

Not to mention horticulture, floral displays, the ever-busy dog show with some 600 entries this year and also the Companion Dog Show which can be entered on the day.

This year’s president is Bill Harper and the chairman is Mark Ley, both of whom have been involved with local agricultural shows from an early age.

Happy's Circus bring the big top to North Devon Show for the first time, with all-human displays. Picture: contributedHappy's Circus bring the big top to North Devon Show for the first time, with all-human displays. Picture: contributed

There are some changes and new additions for this year, but the show is still staying true to its core purpose of celebrating all things rural in North Devon.

Show secretary Theresa Soanes said the North Devon Agricultural Society, which runs the show, was doing everything it could to ensure the show was as ‘weatherproof’ as possible.

To make it easier to get around, the show committee has arranged for temporary road ways to be laid at the showground this week, both for vehicles driving in and out but also for show goers using the walkways around the site.

And for the first time, the circus is coming to the show, with the brightly coloured big top of Happy’s Circus putting on four performances throughout the day.

Happy's Circus bring the big top to North Devon Show for the first time, with all-human displays. Picture: contributedHappy's Circus bring the big top to North Devon Show for the first time, with all-human displays. Picture: contributed

The circus will be offering all-human displays of skill, dexterity, magic and comedy inside its 600-seat undercover tent, enabling visitors to take the weight off their feet and enjoy something different.

Among the attractions in the main ring will be Team MAD – Mountain Bike Aerial Display Team, as well as others displays such as falconry, carriage driving, Young Farmers and Pony Club Games plus power displays from strongman The Mighty Smith.

Of course the North Devon Show is all about agriculture too, and once again there are almost 1,000 livestock entries, with 160 cattle, 550 sheep and 270 equine entries, plus alpacas as well as poultry and pig exhibition marquees.

Another new addition for this year is the Rosette Trail, with children invited to search for the six rosettes hidden around the showground – once they have completed their trail sheet they can claim a free rosette at the secretary’s tent.

Keira Martin, aged nine from Locksbeam Farm, Torrington, with her organic Ayrshire, Golden Oblique Snowdrop. Picture: Andy KeebleKeira Martin, aged nine from Locksbeam Farm, Torrington, with her organic Ayrshire, Golden Oblique Snowdrop. Picture: Andy Keeble

The vintage cars and bikes of yesteryear will take an active part in the show for the first time, parading around the main ring, while the vintage tractors will also parade in the Tarka Ring.

The final parade of livestock is always a grand sight, but visitors need not rush off afterwards – the main arena will be opened to all and popular ska band The Liquidators AKA will be playing up until the close.

It is another measure to enable visitors to enjoy themselves for longer and for show traffic to leave the site at a more controlled rate.

Food will feature even more strongly than ever, with a focus on food courts around the site and one in the centre will even see diners serenaded by the Making Waves Choir.

Thrill to the aerial antics of Team MAD - Mountain Bike Aerial Display Team at the 2018 North Devon Show. Picture: contributedThrill to the aerial antics of Team MAD - Mountain Bike Aerial Display Team at the 2018 North Devon Show. Picture: contributed

It is Theresa’s second year as secretary and she said because of the minor changes that had been made to the shown this year; it was probably as busy as it had ever been.

She said: “We are so excited and looking forward to it. The show sadly had to be cancelled last year but people are keen to come back this year and we have a full showground of traders.

“We have not gone for the massive attractions this year, we are trying to make use of everything we already have on the showground.

“We’re trying to focus on keeping children busy as well, with a variety of entertainment including the Rosette Trail, Punch and Judy, country pursuits and the circus among others.”

All the action from the North Devon Show this year. Picture: SARAH HOWELLSAll the action from the North Devon Show this year. Picture: SARAH HOWELLS

Tickets are available on the day or at a pound discount in advance from www.northdevonshow.com together with more show information.