THE summer months are prime agricultural and county show time, when vegetables are buffed, victoria sponges get competitive, and farmers parade their finest animals around the ring.

Part tradition, part fun and games, our county shows are a celebration of the countryside, where vintage tractors are admired, and where farmers get out the hairdryer and shampoo on their prize beasts.

There’s terrier racing and that all-time favourite Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling.

One of our long-standing shows, popular with families, is the Skelton Show, and this year it marks a landmark moment when for the first time in the show's history a woman has undertaken the role of Chairperson.

With an agricultural background, and a career in marketing, Nina Oxley, continues to share her wealth of experience having been an active committee member for a number of years.

Nina said: "I’d like to thank the committee for nominating me and I accept my position for the next three years. It is a privilege to be the first woman Chairman in the show’s long history and I hope with the continued support of everyone, I will maintain the high standard set as well as bring new ideas and thoughts to the table. It is a wonderful agricultural show and I’m very proud to be part of it.”

Anticipation is already building for the forthcoming show, which has been running since the late 1800s and grown from a small local show held in the village to one of the major agricultural shows in Cumbria.

It takes place on Saturday, July 6 at the Old Park in Hutton in the Forest, and has a large horticultural and industrial marquee and classes of cattle, sheep, horses, dogs, vintage vehicles, fur and feathered animals and Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. With well over 150 trade stands, a gift and crafts tent, Skelton Food Hall, a wide variety of entertainment, music, food and bar, it has a reputation for being a great day out in the country for all the family.

A line-up of local talent will perform in The Entertainment and Food Village into the early evening which will be a nice way to wind down at the end of a hectic day, together with a glass of something cool in hand! It will also show the UEFA Euro24 Quarter Final football game live on the big screen at 5pm.

But kicking off the much-anticipated show season is the flagship Cumberland Show, which is being held at The Showfield, Warwick On Eden, near Carlisle, on Saturday, June 8.

There is a range of livestock classes including beef, dairy and sheep; heavy and light horses; poultry classes; and vintage vehicle classes. The Countryside Area displays rural crafts and skills; a home industries marquee; craft marquee; country living arcade; food hall; a wide range of trade stands; and a variety of entertainment around the showfield, including a thrilling motorbike stunt act in the main ring, which all make for a great family day out.

And should the excitement prove too much, like most county shows there’s the soothing Home Industries tent to escape to, where cakes and handicrafts reign supreme.

Operations and Development Secretary, Gillian Potts, says new for this year is an Outdoor Retail Avenue, an Extended Family Area with a brass band, Andy the Jester, facepainting, dance groups and much more.

The Home Industries theme is 'Field to Fork' which is proudly supporting British Farming, where lots of classes for Handicrafts, Baking, Photography, Horticulture and Children's section are on show.

"A corner of the marquee will have Garden Organic Children's Gardening workshops so come along and have a go," says Gillian.

She added: "In the Equine Section we are thrilled this year to be awarded the BSHA Rising Star Ladies Side Saddle Qualifier for The London International Horse Show which will be a spectacular showcase, competitors do not need to be a member of the BSHA or have their horse registered in order to check our online schedule class 123.

"Mind along with this we are proud to be awarded the BSPS Performance Classes too which are Qualifing to The London International Horse Show which are classes 121 & 122 in our online schedule....A Cumbrian lady entered our show last year, went to London for the first time and won so get yourself entered as you never know where it may lead."

The eagerly-contested Men Only class of three pieces of Chocolate Brownie is already getting men on the committe, says Gillian, trying out the recipes!Home Industries the eagerly contested Men Only class of 3 pieces of Chocolate Brownie is already getting the men on the committee trying out recipes!

"A special class this year in memory of our dear committee member and friend Joyce Wilson is class 98 One Flower stem from your garden," added Gillian.