Community spirit captured in Council’s County Show marquee

Our marquee at the Devon County Show

Posted on: 3 June 2015

The theme of our exhibit this year gave Devon County show-goers the chance to get involved in helping their local community, as well as taking part in activities.

Our marquee at the 120th County Show focussed on communities and volunteering, with staff providing a host of information to visitors on ways to connect with their communities and to get more involved in local schemes, whilst also providing show-goers with lots of opportunities to participate in an array of activities.

Our new Chairman Christine Channon visited the show.

“The County Show this year was a credit to the County. Unlike last year the sun shone, and there was an energetic buzz of activity.

“The County stands were vibrant with their new banners, standing out against the mass of white marquees. Inside the stands were a cornucopia of activities with which we attempted to attract community engagement and these proved to be very popular.

“Staff were helpful, displaying a real pride in whatever activity they were promoting. I was most interested in the area which promoted the new Fab Lab, normally available in the enhanced Exeter Library, for which we have been awarded a national prize.”

Visitors were able to take part in a Ping-Pong/table tennis challenge and find out from Active Devon how to get involved in local sporting events and activities available across the County. There was also a bike challenge on offer from our Travel Devon team, who were on hand to offer advice and guidance on how to make the most of the county’s abundance of cycle and walking routes. And to encourage people to get more active, individuals and companies got the chance to sign up to the Love to Ride Devon competition, with some unique prizes on offer.

Recycle Devon were promoting the Great British Take-off – part of the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign aimed at helping people save money by using their leftovers to create delicious and nutritious meals for the whole family. At the Recycle Devon stand children created their own edible pledge cookie. Over the weekend, 468 children made (then ate) their pledges. The grand total of all pledges came up to 778, all helping make Devon greener.

Our Farm Wise Devon stand received the Gold Award on day one of the County Show. The Farmwise project aims to educate children about food production, and the stand gave visitors the chance to see how food is produced on Devon’s farms, and attracted people of all ages in their thousands over the weekend, including Anne, The Princess Royal. And younger visitors were able to enjoy a teddy bears’ picnic, as Paddington Bear joined Farmwise Devon to enjoy a marmalade sandwich, or two!

The Parish Paths Partnership (P3) scheme highlighted responsibility for their local roads and footpaths, bridleways and byways; by providing information and the chance for people to sign up to become a snow warden or a community road warden.

To capture the essence of volunteering, the public rights of way team asked participating parishes to submit photographs demonstrating what P3 means to those who use and maintain public rights of way. Visitors to the stand had the opportunity to help judge the entries, which were announced at the end of the Show. Winning parishes will receive additional resources to help them achieve rights of way projects over the coming year. The winning parish was Musbury, with Bishopsteignton and Kentisbeare parishes as runners up. The parish Ashwater entry won a special award due to the age of the entrant and the theme of the photograph and poem – Memory Lane.

Supporting the theme of connecting Devon’s communities on a wider scale, was the Get up to Speed team – part of the Connecting Devon and Somerset broadband roll-out programme – a free service created to help individuals, communities and businesses across Devon and Somerset learn more about faster broadband and digital technology.

Ten inflatable cows were also hidden around the showground for the Get up to Speed ‘Cowfie’ competition. Visitors were encouraged to tweet photos of themselves with the cows using the hashtag #cowfie to be in with a chance of winning one of 10 selfie sticks.

Posted in: Community