What’s On in 2023

The Festival aims to inform, educate and inspire, and to give you the opportunity to access information and advice from experienced practitioners that will support and encourage you in your future smallholding ventures.

The 2023 Festival will have a programme of talks in the Store Ring, including a “Big Issue” debate; the Sheep Ring will be used for practical demonstrations.

We will have lots of other things for you to see and enjoy – shows, showcases, a trade hall and of course the opportunity to catch up with like-minded people!

Competitions and shows

We are running competitive shows, so we hope you will join us. Entries open early in 2023 and close on Sunday 1st October, so there’s plenty of time to get your entries ready!

  • Our Sheep show has a range of classes focused on young stock as well as wool on the hoof, best horns and young handler sections. We also have classes for raw fleece in our Garden, Craft and Food competition. The young handler classes allow young handlers to show their own lambs, regardless of whether they are pedigree or not. Our judge will be looking for knowledge of sheep and sheep care, as well as handling skills.
  • Our Goat show also features classes for young stock and young handler competitions
  • Our Pig show has classes for all traditional breeds, other breeds of pig and well as the delightful Kunekune. And there’s classes for handlers too – involving pig agility!
  • Our Garden, Craft & Food competition has classes for preserving, baking, hand crafts, raw fleece, sticks and crooks, honey, and eggs as well as a section especially for youngsters.
View the schedules

Rural skills and crafts

We know that many people, not just smallholders, love to make, bake and create – so if you are one of these people, we have our Rural Skills and Crafts area just for you. Of course, we have our Garden, Craft and Food competition – with classes for home baking, preserving, eggs, raw fleece, crafted projects, sticks & crooks, honey and a junior section. It’s only £1 to make an entry. The full schedule and entry form will be on the website early in 2023.

In addition we have a fantastic array of craft workers ready to demonstrate their skills and answer your questions about their crafts.  In 2022, we had

Rachel Bower Baskets
Something Corny
The Woodland Tannery
Wooden Tom
East of Scotland Beekeepers
Perthshire Woodcrafters
Central Scotland Dry Stone Walling Association
East Central Scotland Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers
Stick and crookmaking
and of course, SWI Angus Federation, whose members are providing both judging and stewarding services for the Garden, Craft and Food Competition.

There will be a mini-workshop area. More details to follow.

Livestock showcases

Central to the Festival is our Livestock Showcases – for most smallholders, livestock are a “must-have” – but what to choose?

The Festival aims to have as many breeds of pigs, sheep, goats, cattle and equines, as well as alpacas, on display as possible, along with their owners and breed societies, so that smallholders and aspiring smallholders can make the right choice for them.

Seminars & demonstrations

Colleen McCulloch, Soil Association Scotland
Colleen McCulloch, Soil Association Scotland

The full programme can be found on the Programme of Events page.

Trade Exhibition

The Festival Trade Exhibition will showcase the best suppliers and services for smallholders and small scale producers, including equipment, machinery, renewable energy generation, food production, grassland management and livestock husbandry as well as fibre produce and skills development.