THE countdown is on for this year’s Northumberland County Show.

The popular show, staged at Bywell, near Stocksfield, is returning this Bank Holiday Friday (June 3) after a two-year hiatus.

The staple show has been held in various locations and under different names since the 1830s.

Before its forced break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had only been cancelled a handful of times - during the World Wars and the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001.

The family-friendly, agricultural event, which will kick start the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, usually welcomes some 30,000 visitors.

New chairman Mark Scandle explains the draw of the show to the Courant: “The Show gives everyone the chance to get up close to animals, talk to farmers and food producers, find out more about where their food comes from while enjoying a brilliant day out.

“It creates connections to rural life, food production and ultimately, the land that sustains us all, and it is an honour and a privilege to be part of that process.”

As well as an opportunity for farmers to hear of the latest technological developments in the agricultural trade stand zone, visitors can expect hundreds of competitive livestock classes for horses, cattle, sheep, alpacas, pigs, goats, fur and leather, baking and home crafts.

Animals a plenty; hunt dogs will be on show, as well as birds of prey. The show is also the largest gathering of Border Terriers in the country.

Newcastle Diamonds Speedway team will be on hand to thrill crowds with noisy, high-speed, high-octane racing against a backdrop of music from The Royal Engineers Military Highland Piping Band and Northumberland pipers from Magnetic North.

Children will delight at donkey and pony rides and face painting, while a vintage tractor parade and traditional arts and Cumberland Wrestling will appeal to the masses.

This year’s show is also the first to host a giant tortoise paddock.

A five-mile run around the grounds will also be held, with street food and local, food stands the perfect post-run pick-me-up.

The show will end with the grand parade of champions in the main arena where winners of the prestigious JS Hubbucks Champion of Champions trophy will be announced.