Brilliant sunshine pulled out the crowds to the Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s Countryside Live event at Uppermill Farm, Kintore recently.
By the end of the day, organisers reckoned that attendance was over 5,000 with thousands of pounds raised for three charities – Charlie’s House, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Scotland’s rural charity, RSABI.
“The attendance far exceeded our expectations and it was great to see town and country getting together to celebrate all that’s good in farming and food production and the countryside generally,” said event chairman, Keith Walker.
“The attendance of large numbers of townspeople was particularly welcome and demonstrates the interest the general public has in rural activities and how their food is produced.”
Events included a farm tour by tractor and trailer, livestock demonstrations, sheep shearing, a sheepdog trial demonstration by 13-year-old former One Man and His Dog junior champion, Joe McKenzie from Turriff, and a visit to Breedon’s nearby Tom’s Forest flagship quarry which was visited by almost 2,000 people during the day.
One of the highlights was a mock auction of livestock conducted the three auctioneers from Aberdeen and Northern Marts – Colin Slessor, John Angus and Rory Livesey – who starred in the television series on The Mart earlier this year.
Mr Walker paid tribute to all those involved in organising and supporting the event and particularly host farmer, Malcolm Allan, who, with his wife, Gladys, departed the farm in style in carriages pulled by Clydesdale horses from George and Ruth Skinner’s Strathorn stud at Old Rayne.
“The generosity of everyone in both time and financial support has been exceptional – no one said no,” said Mr Walker.
“Everything has been done by volunteers. We hope the public went home having had an enjoyable day out and a greater appreciation of farming and the countryside.”
More than 300 school children visited the farm in an educational exe3rcise organised by the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative.
Main sponsors of the event were Aberdeenshire Council, Breedon Aggregates and Titan Steel.
Stockjudging Open- 1 Stephanie Dick, Minas of Throsk, Stirling; 2 Iain Livesey, Firth Farm, Lilliesleaf, Melrose’ 3 John Graham, Mains of Burnbank, Stirling.
Under 16 – 1 Abbie Mitchell, Turriff; 2 Anna Johnston, Fernhill Farm; 3 Gregor Sawers, Kintore.
Sheep shearing – 1 Durris (John Blackhall and Alan Prentice); 2 Inverurie (Raymond Smith and Kevin Fleming); 3 Turriff (Tony and Angie Willox); 4 Aberdeen (John Milne and David McCartney).