ONE of the biggest agricultural show in the south west, held right here on our doorstep, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.

The Melplash Agricultural Society's board of directors say they've made the 'tough decision' to cancel this year’s Melplash Show due to take place in August.

As the coronavirus pandemic goes on, the show's office team has been working closely with directors to assess, as best they can, the impact it will have on the traders, exhibitors, members, sponsors and visitors, should the situation not have completely eased by show day.

President Nigel Jones said: “It goes without saying that whilst everyone’s personal safety is the primary consideration, we have also considered the pressure that this situation is putting on both business and personal finances, together with concerns over the likely recovery of local tourism, the latter of which is of course vital to our visitor numbers.

"The financial and safety implications of organising a show and then cancelling at the last minute, compared with cancelling much earlier, were also a serious consideration. Following a detailed review of all these issues, we all agreed that cancelling the 2020 Melplash Show was the correct and most responsible decision."

The society says it's 'totally focused' on supporting the local farming and rural community. Although not running the show this year, the directors are 'extremely keen' to ensure that other society activities go ahead.

They plan to reschedule the gardens and allotments competition, the farms and flocks’ competitions and the Young Farmers stock judging which were due to take place during June and July. The annual hedgelaying and ploughing match is still scheduled to run on September 27.

The society’s bursary scheme, which offers grants to local students aged 17 and above who are planning to pursue courses in subjects connected to agriculture, will continue. The application form is available to down load from

Closing date for applicants is July 1, 2020. It is also hoped Discover Farming classroom will continue for schools online.

The society is now looking towards planning next year’s Melplash Show, taking place on Thursday, August 26, 2021, and has vowed to make it 'even more special' with a 'true celebration of farming and rural life by the sea.'