Countryside Live event this weekend

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Town and country will come together this weekend when thousands of townsfolk from throughout the North-east as well as the rural community descend on Uppermill Farm, Kintore, on Sunday, May 29, for the Royal Northern Agricultural Society’s Countryside Live event.

A huge array of activities will give families of all ages a fun day out and a flavour of life in the countryside.

The exciting range of activities will include an opportunity to tour the farm by tractor and trailer to see cattle and sheep in their natural environment. Demonstrations, interactive displays and competitions will link farming and food production to the foods which appear on our tables, as if by magic, every day and highlight the important role of all land users as custodians of the countryside and the natural environment.

Other features will include the opportunity of visiting a working quarry – Breedon’s flagship quarry at nearby Tom’s Forest – and a sheepdog handling display by 13-year old-Turriff maestro, Joe Mackenzie, who won the junior title of One Man and His Dog on television in 2013.

The event is being organised by the RNAS and hosted by well-known North east housebuilder and farmer, Malcolm Allan, on his 800 acre farm of Uppermill, just outside the village of Kintore, where he runs a herd of 200 beef cows and 200 ewes.

The day-long event is part of the national Open Farm Sunday initiative and is expected to attract thousands of members of the general public interested in farming, food production and the countryside.

The following day, educational charity, the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative, is arranging for more than 300 school children to visit the farm in 15 groups.

Main sponsors of the event are Aberdeenshire Council, Breedon Aggregates and Titan Steel and all proceeds will go to three charities – children’s charity, Charlie House in Aberdeen, Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance and Scotland’s rural charity, RSABI.

“We have more than 40 sponsors for this year’s event and we are grateful to all these companies for their generous support to enable us to showcase farming at its best while at the same time raising money for deserving charities,” said event chairman, Keith Walker, Auchentarph, Old Rayne.

The chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee, David Aitchison, said the council was delighted to support the RNAS in organising what will be a major event in the Aberdeenshire calendar.

“I would encourage everyone – young and old – to come along for a great day out and discover just how our local high-quality food is produced,” he said. “Farming and the wider land-based sector is worth around £400 million to the Aberdeenshire economy every year and contributes hugely to our magnificent landscape and to our quality of life.”

Auctioneers from Aberdeen and Northern Marts – including some of the “stars” from the recent series on The Mart television – will be conducting mock auctions throughout the day in which the public can participate.

Country Flavours’ Liz Greig from Alford will be conjuring up attractive dishes in her cookery demonstrations while Huntly butcher, Gary Raeburn, a former Scottish young butcher of the year, will be showing where all the cuts come from in his meat cutting demonstration.

Gary has again been selected for the five-man team which will be representing the UK in the annual international butchery challenge which this year will be held in Australia with contestants from the UK, New Zealand, France (for the first time) and the host country.

Uppermill Farm lies just outside the village of Kintore on the B977 Kintore-Dunecht road.

The event will be well signposed and ample car parking will be available.

A free shuttle bus service will run throughout the day from the square at Kintore from 10am onwards.

Admission is £5 for adults and there is no charge for children under 15.