ORGANISERS of a sheep show that survived the foot-and-mouth crisis, are encouraging the local community to get involved.

For the first time, classes for flowers and vegetables and other local produce are being introduced at the Langdon Beck Show, in Forest-in-Teesdale, on Saturday.

"The idea is to get more local people, not just sheep farmers, interested in the show and give it a broader base," said secretary Martin Hill.

"We want these to be more fun events. Competitors can just turn up with their entries on show day."

Mr Hill said entries in the sheep classes were up on last year and the highest since the show made its comeback in a field next to the Langdon Beck Hotel three years ago.

In 2001 there were grave doubts that the show would be able to carry on because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak.

"We are now convinced that with the support we have had this year, particularly from the Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Service. We are now here to stay. Everything augurs very well for the future," said Mr Hill.

Market stalls, selling local bread, cheeses and organic vegetables, will also be part of this year's show, which opens to the public at 11.30am.