Each year, CAFRE’s Greenmount College plays host to the Greenmount Country Show. The show runs over the entire weekend and is one of the best attended events in Northern Ireland.

This year’s Greenmount Show was no exception. Lisa and I were exhibiting at the show and occassionally popped out to wander about the grounds. Naturally, there’s an agricultural slant to most of the show, but you’ll find plenty of other attractions like the Tai Chi demonstrations or the Northern Ireland Bonsai Society exhibit.

There’s so much to see and do at the Greenmount Show that I couldn’t possibly cover it here. In fact, you could spend an entire day wandering about the grounds themselves!

Greenmount College and Grounds

Greenmount was once part of Muckamore Abbey which was founded in 550AD. After the dissolution of the monastary it was occupied by the family of James Thompson until the estate was selected for use as an agricultural college.

I spent most of my time around the Manor and walking around the pond area and Walled Garden. On the lawn a local Tai Chi group was giving a demonstration of their art and I managed to capture a few shots of a fan dance.

I strolled up toward the Old Farm Yard and chatted with an elderly gent about the horse-drawn milk carts on display. He told me he’d done a stint one one of these as a boy, but the cart he worked on didn’t have the luxury of a back door, you just had to throw your leg over the side and climb in. Another lady, watching the Blacksmith display reminisced about watching the blacksmith at work as a girl and sometimes sitting on the bellows.

Read more about the history of Greenmount Campus at the CAFRE website.

Farm Animals

I missed the demonstration of the sheepdog rounding up ducks, but up at Greenmount’s Old Farm Yard, there was a great display of farmyard animals: lambs, calves, pigs and horses.

In the field, there was a children’s pony race taking place that looked like a lot of fun. The fence at the side was lined with eager spectators! Nearby was a display of wild birds, and Ransdalstown’s World Of Owls had their usual display outside the Manor House.

Wildlife & Conservation

I spent some time at the local wildlife stalls this year. The Ulster Wildlife Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds had interesting displays and colouring in activities for children.

The Conservation Volunteers stand was excellent as usual. They had a very clever exhibit that shows a section of a tree trunk with little flags in the rings which represent years of note. It’s a fascinating concept to see the the invention of Levi’s in this context! The Conservation Volunteers attend a lot of these shows and also take their display to schools around the province.