THE Royal Bath & West Show 2024 was a great celebration of rural life - and the wonderful produce that comes from Somerset. 

The show, which ran from Thursday, May 30, until Saturday, June 1, took place at the showground in Shepton Mallet. With a range of livestock competitions, floral displays, entertainment, food stalls and more, the day was alive with a range of visitors from the south west and further afield. 

There were cookery demonstrations, gardening talks and of course, the British Cider Championships. 

Lakeside Farm had plenty of activities for children to try, whilst also teaching them about farming - everything from milking cows to using wool to create felt animals. 

READ MORE: Live blog on day two of the Royal Bath & West Show

There was a tent filled with great British dog breeds, as well as dog shows and plenty of stands for your pet. 

NFU representatives were present at the three-day event, highlighting what farmers and thier families are looking for ahead of the general election. 

After a successful first morning at the Royal Bath and West Show, NFU President Tom Bradshaw reflected on the recent struggles that farmers have experienced in the county and beyond.

Tom said: “Here at the NFU, we have had our Election Manifesto in place for quite some time in anticipation of a General Election, and for the next five weeks, this is the Bible as far as the NFU is concerned.

“Our Election Manifesto provides a guide to what the NFU feel we need from politicians to underpin that confidence for the future of farming.

“We need government to invest in food production for the future. All political parties are now talking about food security being a critical part of our national security and we need policies that will deliver on those really important words.

“The geopolitical situation globally with what is happening over in Ukraine and the situation down in the Middle East means that we cannot take food production for granted.

“We have 70 million people here living on an island and having a plan for how they are going to be fed is absolutely essential.

“Imports will always be part of that, but driving domestic food production should be an essential part of delivering for food security as part of our national security.

“At the moment, domestic food production is being taken for granted and the vulnerability of our supply chain has been highlighted several times over the last couple of years where we have seen empty supermarket shelves for basic groceries including eggs.

“We’re asking for core standards to be implemented within trade that would make it illegal to import products which are produced to lower standards.  We are proud to produce to some of the highest standards in the world here in the UK and the eggs imported in recent months is a disgraceful example of undermining our British farmers; all we ask for is a level playing field also want to see food production given the same political priority as delivering for legislated environmental targets.

“If we are to deliver economic growth, which is going to be essential for any political party coming to power, we need to have enabling policies which support rather than hinder food production.

“We are hearing the rhetoric from politicians about the importance of food and farming and, post General Election, we need to turn those warm words into actions that underpin British food production for the future.”