'More volunteers needed' to save dwindling farm shows

Archive footage of the show
Image caption The Caernarfon Show has been taking place since the late 19th Century

More volunteers are needed to protect the future of small farm shows across the country, a chairman of one meeting has claimed.

Shows such as the North Wales Show in Caernarfon are struggling, with a 30-strong team of volunteers down to just six in recent years.

Since the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001, five shows in Gwynedd have either folded or merged.

This year's show was cancelled over equine flu fears.

The Caernarfon show's chairman, Peter Rutherford, said it was getting "tougher" each year.

"The committee is very concerned that there's a lack of a new generation of young people to come forward and take over our different roles within the committee," he said.

"It's not just our show - there's many shows throughout Britain that are facing the same issues.

"As we get older we want to retire, some of us have been at it a very long time and it's very difficult to get replacement people to join the committee and run these particular sections, and it's very important for the farming calendar that the shows maintain their momentum."

Image caption Peter Rutherford says more young farmers are needed to help keep the shows running

Shows in Pontllyfni, Pwllheli, Eifionydd, Criccieth and Trefor have all folded or merged since 2001, leaving the Caernarfon show and one in Nefyn on the Llyn Peninsula.

Mr Rutherford said some farmers preferred to travel to larger agricultural gatherings, and tight regulations - such as isolating cattle from the rest of their herd for a week after the meeting - can put people off.

"Possibly we need to have better communication with the young people, it's something that we'll be looking at to see if we can improve that," he said.

"But it would be very nice if people could come to us as well and embrace them and hopefully we will take it forward."

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