THE importance of the Westmorland County Show has been stressed as the event prepares to make its return after a year out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Christine Knipe said the show epitomised rural Cumbria and brought ‘together all the facets that make our area special’.

Mrs Knipe is chief executive of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society, which organises the show.

“The show is a place to meet,” she said.

“It’s a place to learn.

“It’s a place to buy.

“It’s definitely a place to do business.”

The 222nd Westmorland County Show will take place on September 8 and 9, 2021.

It is the first time the event will be held over two days - to spread visitor numbers and ensure increased safety when it comes to limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Mrs Knipe said the Westmorland County Agricultural Society was ‘absolutely indebted’ to the contractors which had supported the show and without whom it would not be going ahead.

She expressed relief at being able to hold the show.

“We are one of only a handful of agricultural shows taking place,” she said.

“The vast majority have been cancelled.

“It is testament to the strength of the society that we are forging ahead to run such a complicated event.

“An agricultural show is not a small event to organise, there’s so many different elements to it.”

Livestock classes will be spread across the two days of the event, but a full programme of activities will be held on both the Wednesday and Thursday.

For more than 200 years, agricultural shows have brought together communities, showcasing rural life and providing businesses a platform from which to trade.

More than 300 volunteer stewards will be involved in running this year’s county show, with many having done so for many years.

Henry Robinson, the current president of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society, is himself a long-standing exhibitor, with his family having shown at every edition of the event since 1875.

Mrs Knipe teased the presence of special guests at the 2021 show, but would not be drawn on who these would be.

Visit to book tickets and contact the Westmorland County Agricultural Society for enquiries about the event.