MORE than 12,000 visitors flocked to Carlisle to one of the UK’s leading celebrations of British farming, showcasing the best of livestock from around the country.

The Borderway Agri Expo 2021, held on Friday, rooted out a long list of champions and gave a much-needed boost to the city's economy.

The event, cancelled last year because of the Covid pandemic, attracted a long-list of celebrities and dignitaries, including Farmer and Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson and shepherdess Emma Gray and her husband Ewan Irvine, who have starred in ITV’s celebrity shepherding contest Flockstars, BBC1’s Countryfile and BBC2’s This Farming Life.

Adam, who spent the whole day at the event, said: “It’s been a real pleasure attending the Borderway Agri-Expo in my capacity as Lloyds Bank farming ambassador. Competition was fierce, as you’d expect after such a long time away from the show rings, but there was a real buzz of positivity in the air. It was clear everyone was relishing being back in the company of their fellow farmers and other members of the agricultural community. I’d like to thank the Lloyds Bank Agriculture team for inviting me, and to H&H for putting on such a great event.”

Judith Hunter, farmer and Relationship Director for Cumbria at Lloyds Bank Agriculture, commented on how the resilience of the agricultural community was clearly evident at the event. She said: “Lloyds Bank has supported the Borderway Agri-Expo since its inception, and it’s been great to have our farming ambassador, Adam Henson, along with us for our fourteenth year.

“The Expo has always been a showcase of the best quality cattle and sheep, taking place at a time of the year when the seasons are changing, and new challenges start to come our way. But after such a long pause on the agricultural show calendar, this year it’s been just as much about coming back together as a community and celebrating the industry’s resilience.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet with customers and other rural business owners today and, despite the challenges everyone has and will continue to face, it’s evident that there is still very much an eagerness to continue to build on the strength of the UK farming sector. The team at Lloyds Bank Agriculture are committed to being by their side as supportive and guiding partners to help them achieve this.”

Scott Donaldson, H&H Managing Director, said: "The quality of livestock really is second to none and judging this calibre of stock has not been an easy one. But after the tumultuous events of the last year, it's great to be back."

In addition to the incredible quality of sheep and cattle presented – a total of 924 animals – the event lso provided a vital, valuable platform for those involved in the industry to gain knowledge and discuss current issues.