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.
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.