A varied programme of competitions, parades, talks and demonstrations is lined up for visitors to this year’s Scottish Smallholder Festival, taking place on Saturday 14th October, at the Royal Highland Centre from 9am – 4pm. 

The Scottish Smallholder Festival is Scotland’s national smallholding show, offering smallholders, small producers, growers and everyone interested in a sustainable way of life the opportunity to visit, share, learn, show, buy and be inspired.

Described as ‘a celebration of the smallholder’, the central concept is to provide an event for smallholders and growers at the end of the season to celebrate a successful year of production, to gather ideas for next year, and to provide an opportunity for all to display their products and benchmark their success against other small producers.

The event aims to provide a showcase for smallholders and small-scale producers, allowing end-users to see what can be achieved in a small-scale farming environment. It also aims to create an opportunity for those who are interested in rural life and farming to get a close-up view of small-scale farming, introducing them to skills and livestock they would not normally encounter.

Highlights include:

  • Scottish Pig Show: the pig show is currently the only one in Scotland at present and is an opportunity for pedigree pig keepers to promote their breed and their stock to the event’s visitors.
  • 50th Anniversary of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust: celebrating all kinds of rare breeds, with prizes offered for the best Rare Breeds on show, including a supreme show champion
  • SRUC Theatre: a brand-new area as a result of a partnership with Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), hosting part of the seminar programme and providing professional and hands-on education for smallholders attending the event
  • Calving simulator: attendees can pre-book sessions to learn about and practice calving cows on a lifelike Calving Simulator, the only place in Scotland that this experience is currently available to smallholders.

Fun for all the family
The day promises to entertain children and young people of all ages, and you don’t have to be a smallholder to come along and take part. Other highlights include:

  • Over 30 different breeds of sheep, nine breeds of goat, 11 breeds of pig
  • An equine parade featuring displays of Clydesdale horses and Highland ponies, as well as Fell, Eriskay, Dales, Exmoor, Shetland and New Forest Ponies and Cleveland Bay horses
  • Showcase of cattle and alpacas
  • Rural skills displays – learn about drystone walling, sourdough bread making, basket weaving, pressing apples
  • Indulge in some shopping with a variety of craft stalls
  • See farm equipment up close and talk to the experts who can help you with growing your own, or even beginning your own smallholding
  • Visit the cookery theatre to learn how to turn your home produce into fantastic food

Tickets are £15 on the gate on Saturday, but you can get them online until Friday 13th October for just £10 per adult.

There’s also a reduced price of £5 for school pupils, students and young farmers – and under 14s are free with an accompanying adult.

Buy your tickets online at https://festival.scot/product/festival-ticket-2023/

Full details are now live at https://festival.scot/programme/

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