THE gates have opened on the eagerly-anticipated Great Yorkshire show.

For the first time in its history, the event at Harrogate Showground - the region’s largest celebration of farming, food and country life - will run over four days from today.

This is to help it welcome as many visitors as possible in line with Covid restrictions and show organisers, the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS), has worked with local authorities to ensure the event meets strict criteria to go ahead safely.

The gates opened at 8am and the showground already buzzing with exhibitors and visitors, including lots of families making a day of it.

Traffic on the A59 getting into the ground is said to be light.

The Northern Farmer:

The Northern Farmer:

Attendance has been limited to 26,000 visitors each day – almost half the usual attendance - and, following the rise in cases due to the Delta Covid variant, further control measures are in place.

Opening hours have been extended so the show will now run from 8am to 6pm each day to allow visitors to arrive and leave in a more staggered way to help avoid queues.

Ahead of the event opening, Show Director Charles Mills said: “This will be a very special Great Yorkshire Show and one we are all so looking forward to after these difficult times.

“It will be a slightly different show to normal but we have done our best to bring you an event which will fly the flag for farming and celebrate our industry.”

The Northern Farmer:

The Northern Farmer:

Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the YAS, said: “The safety of the public, exhibitors and their animals, staff, volunteers and everyone who is part of the show is paramount.”

He added: “While the show will take on a different format this year, we still aim to deliver a high-quality event which is as near normal as possible.

“We have been encouraged by the enthusiasm and support we have received as it is seen as a symbolic step back to normality.”

Highlights of the show are likely to be the Grand Cattle Parade in the Main Ring, performances from Atkinson Action Horses, a new woodland trail and demonstrations from Riding for the Disabled Association which makes its debut at the event on Thursday.

The Northern Farmer:

Judging of Beltex sheep underway