National conservation charity, the Countryside Restoration Trust (CRT), launches its first virtual CRT Village Show on 15th June 2020, with a series of free online competitions and activities the whole family can enjoy throughout the summer via its new website.
With the nationwide lockdown bringing CRT farm open days to a halt, the Trust wanted to find a different way to bring new and existing CRT Friends together and raise money for the charity.
“Village shows have historically played an important role in bringing rural communities of all ages together, to socialise and celebrate local produce,” says Abbie Pearce, CRT marketing manager. It seemed the perfect solution to combine the ethos of these traditional, countryside events with how farming, food and nature are shown to work in harmony at our farm open days in an online show, particularly as we’ve just launched our brand new website.”
The CRT Village Show, which is free to join and open to everyone, will have many competitions anyone can enter, including a wildlife photography competition from 22nd June 2020.
“The categories are ‘wild spaces’, ‘wild close-ups’ and ‘wild selfies’; how you interpret these is up to you,” explains Miss Pearce. “Four winning photos from each category will feature in our 2021 calendar, sold in aid of the Trust.
“The overall winner will receive an exclusive feature in the next issue of our members’ magazine, The Lark, to showcase their photography and a tour at one of our properties with a CRT wildlife monitoring officer, once the lockdown has ended.”
To coincide with the Trust’s education programme, MOSAIC, areas of the show are dedicated to stimulating activities and videos that encourage children to learn how food, farming and wildlife are connected, that adults will also enjoy.
“To bring the colours of the countryside to those staying at home, our wonderful farmers are recording video diaries of life on our farms, where you can meet their lambs, calves and wildlife living in crops.
“Our wildlife monitoring team also provide regular blog updates about nature living on the farms. Plus, the education team have put together engaging activities to try at home, such as making a fairy garden, nature cuffs and egg head planters.
“Some CRT farms with diverse enterprises will also offer discounts to those who join the show, including artisan businesses based at Pierrepont Farm in Surrey,” adds Miss Pearce.
For many, lockdown is for the foreseeable future and the CRT wants to continue to bring people together and provide sparks of joy and happiness through the CRT Village Show.
“We hope it allows some escapism from the current uncertainty in life, and we look forward to bringing the wonders of farming and nature to you to enjoy,” concludes Miss Pearce.
To join the CRT Village Show and learn more about upcoming competitions and activities taking place over the summer, visit countrysiderestorationtrust.com/CRTvillageshow.
CRT Village Show 2020 schedule
- 22nd-27th June: Wild photography competition
- 29th June – 5th July: Lark Rise Farm show week
- 6th-11th July: Pet pawtraits competition
- 13th-18th July: Pierrepont Farm show week
- 20th-25th July: Rate my plate competition
- 27th July – 1st August: Friendship week
- 3rd-9th August: Mayfields Farm show week
- 10th-15th August: Grow it at home competition
- 17th-22nd August: Craft week
- 24th-29th August: Winners’ week and best bits