A FIRM favourite in the county's show calendar, Dalston Show, has been forced to cancel this year's event.

After months of deliberation, show organisers say they have taken the sad decision not to hold the popular village show, traditionally held in August, because of the 'considerable uncertainty' regarding what the future might be for larger events in the late summer months.

A spokesperson said: "All indications point towards a continuing improvement in Covid 19 infection rates and the likely lifting of restrictions as we head towards the summer. However there remains considerable uncertainty regarding what the situation might be for larger events in August. Trying to predict and plan for these uncertainties, particularly as a committee of volunteers, has proven difficult.

"Whilst we have remained extremely enthusiastic towards proceeding with arrangements, the risks remain high, not only in regard to the Covid infection rate but the financial implications upon our Society should we be unable to hold an event or merely a Show with reduced capacity."

Last year, the show's trustees took the decision to hold a virtual show with reduced classes.

But for many Cumbrian families, the agricultural show season is the highlight of the year.

Last year Coronavirus wiped out the show calendar, causing millions of pounds worth of losses to the rural economy.

It hit everything from larger shows to smaller, one-day events which bring rural communities together.

Hundreds of shows up and down the country were forced to cancel as the virus tore through the county, starving farming communities of annual chances to meet acquaintances, denying traders a vital market and rural charities of fundraising activities.

Some Cumbrian show organisers staged virtual shows in some form or another.

This year, despite the roadmap laid out by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, which could see the lockdown lifted on June 21, most show organisers have already announced cancellation of their events, saying they could not run the financial risk and continue show preparations while uncertainty about Covid-19 remains.

The flagship Cumberland County Show will not go ahead on its scheduled date of June 12, but say they are reviewing their options regarding the possibility of holding an alternative event later in the year.

Three other firm favourites, Skelton, Penrith and Cockermouth have also cancelled, but Westmorland Show for the first time in its history will be staged over two days on September 8 and 9 with organisers working hard over several months to hold a Covid safe event.