Thousands of pounds have been raised for charity by an online agricultural show after coronavirus forced the cancellation of farm events across the country.
The Greatest Online Agricultural Show – held on Saturday (2 May) – was the brainchild of Berkshire estate manager David Hill.
Mr Hill got the idea to hold an online event after coronavirus restrictions forced organisers to cancel agricultural shows scheduled for spring and summer.
The free one-day event featured online competitions, debates, innovations and demonstrations usually commonplace at regular agricultural shows. It has raised more than £16,000 for five farm charities.
The money will be shared between the Farming Community Network, You Are Not Alone, the DPJ Foundation, and the royal agricultural benevolent institutions of England, Wales and Scotland.
Some 5,000 people visited the online show’s website, with 10,000 people following the event’s social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook.
800 livestock entries
There were 800 entries to the online livestock classes.
A video entry featuring three-year-old Barley Brook Sellar and a Border Leicester ewe attracted more than 2.4 million views and 100,000 likes.
BEST IN SHOW!! pic.twitter.com/pTDW3mSP6Y
— The Greatest Online Agricultural Show! (@OnlineAgShow) May 3, 2020
The RAF Red Arrows team, which put on flypasts and air displays throughout the summer, provided previously unseen video footage for the show.
Andrew Lazenby, chief executive of Innovation for Agriculture, which helped put on the event, thanked everyone for helping turn Mr Hill’s dream into reality.
Taking to Twitter afterwards to thank supporters, Mr Hill said the event had been a rollercoaster of emotion – with tears shed at the highs and the lows.
“I’m blown away by how our lovely industry has come along for a laugh and a social as well as to show off what it does. Precisely what I had hoped it would.”