FARMING and agricultural skills will be on display as an annual tradition returns this weekend.

The Hedgelaying and Ploughing Match has been a significant event in the Melplash Agricultural Society's calendar since the society was established in the 19th century.

The match will be taking place on Sunday, September 19 on land at Hingsdon, near Netherbury, from 9am until 3.30pm.

The first Melplash Hedgelaying and Ploughing Match took place in 1847 with horse drawn ploughs, the event was created to celebrate a successful harvest and allow farmers to show off their skills and have some fun. The only times the event has not taken place was during the First and Second World Wars and in 2020 due to coronavirus.

With the Melplash Show being cancelled earlier this year due to the pandemic, the society has been putting on a series of events throughout the summer months.

Members of the public are welcome to come along to the matches and spectate. The event is free to attend, and refreshments will be available.

Alongside the match, the society's Farm Produce Show in which farmers are invited to enter their best silage, straw, hay, maize, wheat and barley for judging on the day.

There will also be a tug of war competition in a variety of weight classes with medals for the winning teams.

James Vickery, chairman of the Melplash Agricultural Society, said: “The Hedgelaying and Ploughing Match along with the Farm Produce Show provides a shop window for people to engage with what farming and the countryside is all about.”