Aug 092011

The Wildlife & Countryside Fair

Bouncy Castle

It was a bright if a little blustery day when Terry and I arrived at Northward Hill for the fair.   We were volunteering for the afternoon session on the coconut shy.   We were greeted by volunteers urging us to make a donation towards the cost of the fair and handing out bags for any goodies we might buy with a leaflet giving us the day’s events.   We were then guided towards a parking spot by our very own Neil, who was also volunteering for the day.

Terry at the coconut shy

Entering the field we first encountered the RSPB tent urging us to buy pins, join the RSPB or get involved in volunteering.   There were the usual array of stalls and marquees, including displays from the West Kent Badgers and local Bee keepers and honey makers.   Stalls selling anything from plants and food stuffs to jewellery and clothing.
There was a craft section where you could watch spinning and lace making and even get involved in a bit of pot making.   There were several places producing hot food and drinks, including a Hog Roast and cream teas.   Children were well catered for with puppet shows, pony rides, bouncy castle and slide and a train ride.   People were kept entertained with not only the puppet shows but also by a folk group and bell ringers.
Outside the main field there were of course events such as sheep dogs and sheep shearing, along with an Explorer’s Trail.   This was a self guided walk around the view points to encompass ditch dipping, dragonfly watching and viewing the birds through scopes set up on the mound.
There did appear less stalls than normal and with 1600 people visiting the fair perhaps numbers were down from other years. However, on talking to RSPB staff the fair was deemed a success with 26 newly joined members on the day, and plenty of happy, tired children and parents leaving hopefully with pleasant memories of the day.

  3 Responses to “Wildlife and Countryside Fair”

Comments (3)
  1. I and a few other of my friends with their families go to this fair every year. However this year seemed disappointing and empty, there seemed to be less going on and to have lost its atmosphere compared to last year. First time I didn’t have wait in a long queue for food and drink. Although it was worth the visit I stayed for less time and spent not very much.

    Why did the organisers move the date of the fair, its normally later in the month, I almost missed the fair completely until I realised the date change at the last minute. Numbers were down because everyone is away on holiday this time of year, whereas later in the month everyone is back in time for the return to school

  2. Where were these 1,600 people? At the most there were 500 only! It was VERY DISAPPOINTING and not widely advertised in the area (most people I spoke to about it in the week preceeding were totally unaware it was taking place. I made very little money for the Cerebral Palsy Charity for whom I raise money and I could not even say that I raised a quarter of the amount of any previous year. So disappointing and what was with the strange music band? It was awful! But at least it interupted the voice of that monontonous Ralf who was constantly on the microphone sending us all to sleep. TERRIBLE!!!

    • hi Mrs Hyde

      Our post was about last year’s fair, not this year’s!

      May I suggest you email the RSPB North Kent Marshes team and let them have your feedback? They are always interested to know how well (or badly) they did!