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Kent County Show Heatwave Draws Thousands as Hadlow College Celebrates 50 Years of Education


This year’s Kent County Show saw sweltering temperatures over the three days, which brought the sun-seeking visitors out in droves. As always, Hadlow College had a significant presence and profile as Livestock and Equine sponsors at the show, with the College being profiled on BBC Radio Kent on all three days and receiving television coverage on the Friday evening. This year also saw a selection of posters profiling our wide-ranging alumni displayed at significant points around the Showground, as well as beautiful hanging baskets created by our Floristry department dotted around the site.

With regular hydration very much the order of the day, Hadlow Group staff and students informed, entertained and refreshed the sweltering visitors to our tradestands - including Hadlow College, Hadlow Rural Community School and Betteshanger Park. The Hadlow College marquee, which showcased both the breadth and variety of our courses, the wider Group and the talent of our students, saw visits from Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Life Opportunities, and senior rural delegates. Features included a green living wall commemorating Hadlow’s 50th anniversary, a large fish tank with a school of eye-catching red tilapia fish and a ‘woodland walk’ area created by our Landscape and Countryside Management students.


Visitors watched our students perform both floristry and sheep shearing demonstrations, saw vintage tractors restored by our students in the heritage section and tried their hand at our lambing simulator. Younger visitors enjoyed paper pot-making and seed pencil planting with our Princess Christians’ Farm staff, delving into a lucky dip incorporating Davina, the College’s life-sized model horse, and the chance to milk Daisy, our very obedient cow.


West Kent and Ashford College’s Science department drew in the punters with their ‘Making Waves’ activities, which saw visitors creating transverse and longitudinal wave pulses with a large slinky spring and creating and observing light phenomena in giant bubbles. A mouth-watering selection of sweet treats and aromatic ingredients awaited those visiting our friendly staff at the Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery School stand. Those passing by the Betteshanger Parks stand were able to channel their inner William Tell by taking part in an addictive archery tag hoverball game – and also had the option to try on a full miner’s kit. Only the bravest souls attempted both in the blistering heat !

Hadlow Rural Community School’s excellent tradestand – which showcased students’ work, offered face-painting and sold delicious apple juice from the Hadlow orchards - caught the eye of the Show judges, winning 2nd prize in The Geering Trophy competition for Best Agricultural Tradestand. To add to the Group’s haul of prizes, Hadlow College came away with several for their cattle in the agricultural competitions.

Results were as follows:


  • Milk Recorded Cow, in milk or in calf, having completed two or more lactations – 3rd prize


  • Heifer in calf with first calf and due to calve at not more than three years of age – 4th prize
  • Intermediate Cow. having had three calves – 3rd prize
  • Milk Recorded Cow in milk or in calf, having completed two or more lactations of 305 days – 3rd prize

Milk Recorded Cattle

  • Official Milk Recorded Cow of any other breed – 3rd prize

Over in the KCAS Members’ Area, College staff joined guests including partners, stakeholders and the High Sherriff of Kent, George Jessel, for drinks and canapes to celebrate Hadlow’s 50th anniversary and 25 years of engagement with its lawyers, Brachers.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor commented on the weekend, “The students’ engagement was outstanding. The feedback from stewards, rural businesses and the KCAS Board was incredible, specifically the conduct, behaviour and knowledge of our students.”

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