The first rural event of the year is set to kick off with a bang in north Dorset.

The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show is the first rural event in the county’s calendar. and will take place on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.

The two day event will take place at the Turnpike Showground in Motcombe and will be jam-packed with activities and attractions that children of all ages and adults will love.

Kids go free up to the age of sixteen and early bird family tickets cost just £10 per adult or £17 on the gate.

Th event will feature comedy car acts, stunt shows, clown acts and even five rare breed pigs hurdling over jumps and honking in a fun hog hoe-down.

South West Farmer: Dingle Fingle Comedy Car Dingle Fingle Comedy Car (Image: The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show)

On the Sunday see the Lamb National, a lamb racing competition with sheep from the mountain sides of the Lake District.

There will also be free tractor and trailer rides throughout the weekend sponsored by Friars Moor Livestock in Sturminster Newton, horticultural and gardening attractions, delicious Dorset foods and drinks along with live music to celebrate the arrival of spring.

As well as loads to see, there’s much for visitors to get involved in.

For the first time, the show is launching a photographic exhibition, inviting amateur photographers to capture the world through their lens.

The entries will be judged by north Dorset’s renowned landscape photographer Charlie Waite, who will also be giving an expert talk to share his top tips on landscape photography.

South West Farmer: Racing pigs at The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show Racing pigs at The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show (Image: The Gillingham and Shaftesbury Spring Countryside Show)

Cat Harris, show organiser, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for amateur photographers of all ages to showcase their talent! We’re so excited to launch this competition and it’s such an honour to have one of the world’s leading landscape photographers as judge. Whether you’re a budding photographer or have been capturing moments for years, we encourage you to join in.”

Fans of Worzel Gummidge won’t want to miss the chance to create their own scarecrow either.

Cat added: “Who doesn’t love a scarecrow, apart from the birds! We’re hoping to have a spectacular line up so visitors can enjoy a Scarecrow Stroll or take a free tractor ride and see all the entries. Entry to the competition is free.

"The only rule is that the scarecrow must be a group effort – we hope groups of all ages will take part - families, schools, youth groups and care homes.”

Register your scarecrow group here: or contact for more information.

To enter the photographic competition visit

To take advantage of early bird tickets visit: