TENS of thousands of visitors, including one very special Royal guest, made their way to a ‘landmark’ Westmorland County Show.

Held at Crooklands, the agricultural show highlighted the best that Cumbria has to offer in terms of livestock, traditional crafts, food, drink and more.

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and the royal president of the show, was among those that made the trip to the showground.

She enjoyed a tour of the ground alongside Chief Executive of Westmorland County Agricultural Society, Christine Knipe, stopping to talk to both competitors and judges.

Mrs Knipe said that it had been a ‘privilege’ to have the Countess at this year’s show, which she anticipated had exceeded 30,000 in visitor numbers.

“We have visited most of the sections of the show,” Mrs Knipe said. “It’s just a privilege to be able to showcase Cumbrian agriculture in this way. We’ve got a lot visitors here from throughout the UK and we’ve heard nothing but compliments about the standard and quality of the event we put on.

“Every year has its challenges and its differences but this year will definitely go down as a landmark year in our 219-year history.”

She said that the year had seen record entries in terms of sheep, cattle, light horses and poultry.

“It’s about the quality and about the event,” she said. “We know we’ve had a few issues on the road with more and more people trying to get in earlier but hopefully when you weigh that up against the whole event it’s worth it.”

Steve Fuller and Simone Siegan were among those in attendance, winning the best rural craft display with the willow sculpture.

The duo, who run Willowpool Designs, based in Endmoor, have been attending the show for more than a decade and are keen to demonstrate the traditional skill of willowing to others.

“They’re trying to ban plastic for a start,” Steve said. “So baskets should come back. Hopefully they’ll be more people using baskets rather than plastic. It’s a sustainable industry.”

And yet more traditional crafts and skills were on display in the WI tent, with the quality of entries proving to be as high as ever.

Christine Bracken, vice president of the shows and exhibitions, said that they had had around 1,000 entries this year.

“It’s been very good quality,” she said. “Everything’s been hectic, busy, but there’s a good result at the end of it.

“I just think that it’s the pride in what people can produce. It brings such a lot of pleasure to the public, they come from all over the country. They base their holidays around it.”

She added due to The Great British Sewing Bee on the BBC, she thought more young people had taken up sewing.

The season’s biggest show also provided the backdrop for the official launch of the new World Heritage Site brand.

The free resource allows businesses and individuals to celebrate the Lake District National Park’s heritage status.

Stephen Henwood, chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership, said: “I think the show epitomises so many things that are part of the tradition and culture of the Lake District,” he said. “And what better place? So much of what we do is rooted in the effect of the agro-pastoral tradition. Farming in the Lake District has shaped the Lakes and it’s really important that we respect those things and help them flourish.”