ORGANISERS are planning to build on the success of the Wensleydale Show to capitalise on a "resurgence" in interest in country life.

More than 7,000 people flocked to this year's show as the agricultural community came together to promote the Yorkshire Dales.

Organisers of Saturday's 103rd show held near Leyburn said it has become bigger and better over the years but they’re determined to encourage an even wider audience.

Show President Gerald Hodgson said 80 to 90 per cent of the visitors are from the surrounding area. “We want to spread the word and get more people to come and see what’s on offer. It’s been a really terrific show.

"Going back a number of years some shows went out of existence, we always kept going and recently it’s got bigger and better, there is more interest and enthusiasm and a real resurgence of interest in the countryside and we have to build on that."

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Kenton Foster from Garriston carried off the interbreed sheep champion title for the seventh year with his prize winning Charollais. He puts his success down to hard work and dedication but says he has still not achieved his life long ambition of having a farm.

"We do well with our ten acres, but we would really love a farm of our own," he said. "However, agriculture is changing, farms are bigger, but this show demonstrates the interest people have in where their meat and food comes from.

"The agricultural community needs to promote itself more, people want to know where cattle and sheep are bred. We need to do more to tell people what we have and what we do.”

James Pratt, from nearby Bellerby, won the Supreme Cattle Championship, carrying on a family tradition of showing started by his father over 40 years ago. Melissa Donaldson, 19, from further afield at Little Langton, near Northallerton won the Beef Championship.

There was consternation in the handicraft and horticultural section where, for the very first time, experts were stumped by a couple of entries they had never seen or heard of.

“We really were stuck when we saw two of the entries, a Winged Bean and a Cucomelon,” said Senior Steward Ian Thompson. “You have to judge entries against a standard, and we had never seen either before, we had to go to Google eventually. But maybe this is a sign of the times as so many different new crops and varieties come through, it’s could be the Monty Don effect.”

There were still however many of the traditional veg, fruit and flowers on show, including a spectacular Marrow exhibited by Peter Ridsdale, from Harrogate, estimated to be over 56lb in weight.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity, said Wensleydale is one of his local shows."I exhibited here for over 30 years, it's a tremendous show, it has grown over the years and it is a sign of how important these shows are, there are more in North Yorkshire than any other area, because geographically it is such a big county, and they are a crucial part of the countryside.”