The Scottish Smallholder Festival will take place at Forfar Mart next Sunday with displays of the livestock, food and drink produced by farmers who run the country’s smallest land holdings.
After six years at Lanark Agricultural Centre, the event has returned to its original venue with a programme of seminars together with crafts, trade stands displays and competitions.
The change of venue also heralds alterations to the format and means the showing classes for goats and sheep will be replaced with exhibitions, in line with the arrangements for pigs, horses and alpacas.
One of the organisers, Rosemary Champion, said: “We’re trying this new format so that folk can still see and discuss many breeds with their owners and breeders, but the resource released by not having showing classes will allow us to increase the breadth of demonstrations available.”
The festival is retaining its popular poultry and waterfowl show and gardening and food competitions, with classes for jams, marmalades, pickles, honey, baking and eggs. Alex Mair of the Scottish Crookmakers Association will judge walking sticks and crooks and a separate section has been set aside for fleeces.
A programme of 15 seminars will be spread throughout the day, with sessions focusing on controlling weeds without chemicals, access to farm tenancies, keeping native ponies, adding value to wool and small-scale machinery.
Ms Champion said the festival encouraged novice and younger exhibitors to take part as the event was also about having fun and networking.
She added: “We’ve a bigger focus on terrific local food and drink this year, plus a range of craft and trade stands. So we can relax, have a blether, enjoy some food and a bit of retail therapy.”
The festival takes place at Forfar Mart on Sunday October 28. Doors open at 9am and entry is free but seminars and demonstrations cost £10.