A popular nationwide ploughing event will return to the Westcountry this year, organisers have announced.

The annual British National Ploughing Championships and Country Festival, which is held in a different part of the country each year, will return to Somerset in October for only the seventh time in its 72-year history.

Partnering once again with Cereals Event, the championships will be held on land at Bishop’s Lydeard, near Taunton, by kind permission of K S Coles and family, on October 14 and 15.

Over the two days, with a total of around 300 ploughing plots to complete, ploughmen and women from throughout Great Britain will be striving for perfection and will use a variety of modern tractors, vintage tractors or magnificent heavy horses to do so.  

They will be in one of 15 different ploughing classes or six ‘plough-off’ finals and their aim is to be British Champion in their respective discipline.  

For the finalists, their aim is to be Supreme Champion and win a place to represent their country overseas in the 2024 world or European ploughing contests.

Visitors to the championships will not only be able to appreciate the ploughing skills on show, they will also be able to shop in the trade stand, shopping and craft area for anything from a tractor or a barn; to a garden trug or a children’s puzzle. They will also be able to see local and national companies demonstrating the most up-to-date machinery available on the market today and in contrast, many vintage tractors and implements on display from yesteryear.  

One of the most popular attractions from the past are the giant steam ploughing engines which will be pulling a ridden plough between them from one end of a field to another. There will also be hedgelaying competitions and demonstrations in varying different styles and to get around the fields to see everything, tractor and trailer rides will be provided.

Sue Frith, Chief Executive of the Society of Ploughmen, which is organising the event, said: “We have some exceptional support in the south-west of the country and we are delighted that the Coles family has invited us back to Somerset for the third time in recent years.  

“In 2017 we held one of our best-ever championships on their land and we’re looking forward to a repeat, if not better this year!”

Further information can be found at www.ploughmen.co.uk or from the Society of Ploughmen on 01302 852469 or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.