MORE than 1,000 young farmers braved the wind and rain as they flocked to Weymouth at the weekend for their annual convention.

Young people aged from 10 to 28 from across the south west competed in a range of different competitions from Friday to Sunday in the seaside town.

Dorset members were taking part after winning finals in their individual counties before pitting their wits against farmers from Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire and Cornwall. 

Contests included a sandcastle competition as well as several other events held at Weymouth Pavilion, such as public speaking, jump rope and street dancing, with participants able to qualify for the national finals. 

Rush hockey and rounders on Sunday morning gave a sporty feel to the convention, which was returning to Weymouth for the first time in three years.

The finale of the weekend saw Puddletown YFC’s debut in the entertainments competition, with Peter Riddle taking home the award for best actor.

The overall points cup for the weekend was taken by Devon, while a portion of the money raised from dance ticket sales was donated to Dorset charities, including Dorset County Hospital and Weymouth Foodbank.

The convention over the weekend also enabled young farmers to let their hair down with friends as parties were held at the Pavilion.

Nick Sansom, president of the South West Area YFC, said last week that a lot of 'scaremongering' had taken place in the past following alleged reports of anti-social behaviour during the event.

"South West Area Young Farmers Convention was a fantastic success all round, better than we could have possibly hoped for," he said.

"An organisation like no other, YFC is a rural youth movement that is run by its members for its members.

"It is where young people with an appreciation for the countryside, farming and the environment can come together with like minded members to enjoy learning both about traditional agriculture and related industries alongside competitions.

"There really is nothing that cannot be achieved by our members while also supporting their communities and local charities."

Mr Sansom added that the south west area has raised more than £80,000 for good causes over the years.