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Sheep Show at Hadrian’s Wall

We love going to country agricultural shows , whether they are big affairs like the Northumberland County Show or much smaller events, Like the Roman Wall Show at Steel Rigg, one of the most scenic parts of Hadrian’s Wall.

Although this is a spectacular location, where the Roman Wall can be seen on top of a sheer cliff, it is bleak and exposed here and usually pretty windy as it was today – though fortunately not raining!

It always amazes me how much of the wall remains, 1900 years after it was built. It just goes to show what a great feat of engineering it was, complete with protective ditches, a road so that soldiers could move easily along its length unseen from the other side and dotted with mile castles and forts this has to be one of the greatest defensive structures ever built.

This is sheep farming country and the show gives local farmer the chance to compare their stock with others competing in the sheep classes. Prizewinning sheep are sought after for breeding stock and enhance the reputation of the breeder, which could mean higher prices at stock auctions. It’s also a great social event where farming families can get together, by the sheep pens or in the beer tent.

There is also a fell race for human competitors…that’s pretty tough hilly terrain to run over. Dogs are represented too. A hound trail, where dogs race to follow a previously laid scent trail through the hills is always fascinating to watch, and there are rings with classes for terriers, hounds, retrievers and collies. Wren tried her luck in a retriever class.

What a lovely afternoon in this rugged part of Northumberland.