Sadness as Festival of the Plough in Epworth in 2019 is cancelled – plea for help

It is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the North Lincolnshire summer farming calendar, but the Festival of the Plough 2019 has been cancelled.

Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st May 2019, 1:45 pm
Horse ploughing classes at Festival of the Plough in 2015
Horse ploughing classes at Festival of the Plough in 2015

The festival’s run at Low Burnham Farm has come to an end and no other suitable venue has been found for this year’s annual rural extravaganza.

The first Festival of the Plough was organised in 1980 and in some form or other it has happened every year except when the foot and mouth outbreak closed down most of the countryside in 2001.

So for the first time in nearly 40 years, apart from 2001 and an enforced cancellation, the festival will not go ahead.

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Festival of the Plough 2015 at High Burnham near Epworth - Action from the horse ploughing classes.

Festival secretary, Heidi Bellamy, said: “Further to the recent Festival of the Plough committee meeting it became clear that this year’s event will not take place.”

She added: “If you are able to assist any future events with the offer of land please get in touch. Contact details are on the website. The Festival of the Plough has helped many local good causes with donations from the event.”

Over the years the festival has been held in and around Epworth at Mill Farm, at Low Burnham and even round by the Epworth Show ground.  It’s current site at High Burnham Farm seemed to suit the ever expanding list of attractions.

A spokesman said: “The idea for the Festival was conceived by a small group of people with a love for shire horses and days gone by, when farming and agriculture were not so frenetic and intense. 

“This was coupled with the idea that as well as allowing people the opportunity to see shire horses and old tractors actually ploughing, it could be a good way of raising money for charity.”

The spokesman said it was fitting that the event took place in fields around Epworth, where since the drainage of the area by the Dutch in 1627-29 it has become one of the most intensely farmed and highly productive agricultural areas in the country.

Last year was one of the most successful shows to date with multiple attractions in its last year at High Burnham Farm where it had been staged for 12 years. To help the committee with another festival venue visit to offer help.