Great Yorkshire Show has so much to offer

New 'recruits' being put through paces at WW1 At Home Live. (S)
New 'recruits' being put through paces at WW1 At Home Live. (S)

The Great Yorkshire Show featured some political attractions this year, with a corner of the showground dedicated to World War One as well as visit from Secretary of State for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson.

Mr Paterson attended on Tuesday and announced an investment of £19m in rural business to support around 2,500 businesses and around 5,000 farming and forestry jobs across the country.

It is hoped this will bring around £2.5m into Yorkshire alone, however, Mr Paterson said he did not have a ‘glib, easy, patsy answer’ to turn the situation around for struggling cattle farmers.

He said: “Agricultural products go up and down and it is a very difficult moment.

“We need much better coordination between the retailers and the supermarkets and the producers to make sure that when beef products do drop at wholsesale they are dropped at retail to encourage buyers to take the advantage of our excellent quality.

“I would like to see British promoted in our shops and I would like to see British consumers realise what a great product we have and take advantage of it.

“Small businesses are the cornerstone of the rural economy, supporting local jobs, people and entire communities.”

Chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society Nigel Pulling welcomed the announcement of the funding, from the targeted Farming and Forestry Improvement Scheme (FFIS), part of the CAP-funded Rural Development Programme for England.

He said: “This is good news for the industry and hopefully will give a real boost to farmers and those with rural businesses.

“There is much in the media at present about falling beef prices which of course affects so many in our region, and has a knock-on effect on our economy. This announcement will hopefully foster much needed confidence.”

The BBC’s exhibition area on World War One marks the centenary of the start of the conflict, with visitors having the opportunity to be a war reporter and explore their own family’s links with the war.

The stand included hands-on activities, performances, and interactive sessions throughout the three days.

Helen Thomas, head of BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire, said: “We hope that the live event will give people a fascinating look at everyday life in Yorkshire during the war.

“Local experts talked about events here 100 years ago. Leeds Museums and Galleries examined service medals and recreated some modern day versions, and York Museum Trust even re-enacted recruitment drills with our visitors.”