Summer weather and crowds break all records at Plumpton College open day

Plumpton College Open Day in East Sussex broke all previous records with almost 14,000 people attending the event last Saturday (10 May 2008) – view all the pictures here.

Glorious summer weather drew the crowds to the annual college event, which incorporates the Sussex Young Farmers’ Clubs Annual Show.

Shan Dexter, head of publicity at Plumpton College, told Farmers Weekly: “Visitors came from as far away as London, Hampshire, and even Powys in Mid-Wales to sample the Plumpton College experience. The day was a great success, and a wonderful way of showcasing the College estate, its facilities and successful courses.”

With every department within the College represented there was something to suit every visitor, from sampling Plumpton College wines to trying a spot of Morris dancing.

Attractions included the college farm, equine schools, outdoor sports, floristry, dog shows, milking and the sale of plants and flowers. Visitors were offered tours of the college as well as the chance to explore the new veterinary nurse training centre, the new animal care centre and even the on-site winery.

Local food and drinks were on sale, ranging from cheeses to cakes to smoothies. A large crafts arena included exhibitors offering stained glass and floral art, while a mass of keen spectators were entertained by equine events in the indoor riding schools.

Visitors also enjoyed the talents of the forestry staff and students, who were showing off their skills in a display that involved tree-climbing and log-splitting techniques.

The Farming and Countryside Education (FACE) marquee was filled with children doing activities that included willow weaving, face painting and creating corn dollies.

A working car fuelled by vegetable oil was demonstrated and silversmithing, metal-smithing and copper-work skills were shown, with student work set to compete at the South of England show.

Also being entered for the South of England show was a landscaped garden that had been specifically designed for the event. Landscaped grounds, gardens and greenhouses were on display as were imaginative horticultural displays bursting with colour. In the floristry department the staff and students displayed a “Come Dine with Me” theme, which drew much appreciation from Open Day visitors.