Beating the downpour at Royal Three Counties Show
Bosses at one of Britain’s most scenic showgrounds said today a massive programme of investment had paid off as one of the venue’s main events survived the downpours which have brought chaos across the country.
Chief Executive of Three Counties Showground Ken Nottage praised his innovative team who have led a five-year programme to weather-proof the venue.
It proved a resounding success as the first day of the Royal Three Counties Show shrugged off torrential rain to ensure the thousands of visitors who braved the showers to attend didn’t miss out on any of the planned entertainment and competitions.
Mr Nottage said they had targeted drainage across the showground at the foot of the Malvern Hills to cope with any excess water.
He said he had drafted in the lead groundskeeper from Gloucester Rugby Club Graeme Balmer who had introduced a number of measures including planting superior grass with greater density and absorption to counteract boggy conditions caused by flooding.
“Sitting at the foot of the Malvern Hills it was a significant project to counteract where the water would naturally flow within the showground but that was part of our targeted approach to be ready for any conditions the British weather might throw at us,’ he added.
“I feel it has paid off in that this scheme of works has saved us from having to close and we have seen some particularly adverse conditions this week. In the midst of those conditions, the showground has stood up to this extreme test of the work we have carried out. “Conditions underfoot have remained really good within the showground and access throughout our first day also good and we are confident they will remain so throughout the weekend.”
Mr Nottage also praised the team for being both prepared and reacting to the changeable conditions.
Specialist Miscanthus more commonly known as elephant grass was brought in before the show to ensure walkways didn’t become waterlogged with extra supplies ordered in after Friday’s deluge.
“We know the weather has been challenging but also we have thousands of exhibitors, traders and not to mention visitors who have planned for this event for months and we owe it to them to do the very best we can to ensure it goes ahead as planned.
“It not only benefits our shows but also the hundreds of other events for which we hire out the showground. Together they bring in a million people a year through the showground.
“I am delighted that the work we have done to improve the showground has paid off and the experience for visitors today was really positive.
“Many shows such as this often fall victim to the British weather and we are so glad that we didn’t face that same fate thanks to a long-term commitment to improve this venue.”
The show continues tomorrow and Sunday with more than 6,000 animals expected to be on the showground over the weekend in one of Britain’s biggest celebrations of rural life.
Highlights include the Young Farmers providing entertainment with a soapbox race on Saturday and a Santa Race on Sunday.