PEOPLE flocked in their thousands to embrace the sunshine for the first day of The South of England Show.

Ardingly’s agricultural show, which is being held until Saturday, promises to showcase the best of British agriculture, horticulture, equestrianism and provides fun activities for all to enjoy.

Visitors to the showground described the “fantastic atmosphere” and “beautiful weather”, adding “a show like this should not be missed”.

One of the main events of the day was a visit from the Princess Royal, who visited the AGM of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth at the showground in honour of her role as president.

The promise of Princess Anne’s visit certainly excited members of the public.

Loretta Kurucz, 49, from Burgess Hill, said: “It was quite exciting that Princess Anne was there, although I didn’t actually see her.

“The highlight of the day was probably seeing the huge lop-eared rabbits.”

She added: “The atmosphere was really nice and relaxed.”

Roger Elsmere, 69, from Bognor Regis, said he was impressed by this year’s show’s “variety of animals” while Tracey Felton, 45, also from Bognor Regis, said: “I love country shows. We are staying for the whole day.”

Jane Schulze, 71, from Eastbourne, added: “I just love this show. Anything rural and I’m there.”

The South of England Show is filled with lively displays and various stalls – including the strawberries and cream stand which proved the most popular.

Some of the day’s highlights included the spectacular quad bikes acrobatics display by the ‘Kangaroo Kids’, the presence of ‘Titan the Robot’, the livestock parade and the cavalcade of hounds.

MP Owen Paterson also attended the event and spoke about the government’s future plans concerning all things environmental.

He said: “Our key priorities are to grow rural economy, improve the environment and protect the country from plant and animal disease.”

This year’s show mainly celebrates horticulture, where the horticultural marquee, artistic tree stumpery and much more certainly tailor to that.

The South of England show is open from 9am to 6.30pm.

For more information visit or call 01444 892700.