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Young bakers, makers and growers across Nottinghamshire invited to showcase their talents at the county show 


Organisers are hoping for a bumper crop of entries into Nottinghamshire County Show’s popular rural crafts competition after they contacted schools across the region inviting young bakers, makers and growers to take part.

The Newark and Notts Agricultural Society, which is hosting the show at Newark Showground on May 11, got in touch with dozens of schools to attract entries to the event’s Make, Bake and Grow competition, which has a special section for children aged 12 and under.

The contest sets out to find the best bakers, gardeners and crafts people in the county, with prizes available for the best vegetables, baked goods and artwork, including cheese straws, collages and, especially for children, a cress head.

Seven-year-old James Yeardley, from near Ollerton, is set to enter the Nottinghamshire County Show’s Make, Bake and Grow competition again after he won first prize last year.

More challenges await this year, including a number of classes which have a hedgehog theme to coincide with Hedgehog Awareness Week, which runs from May 5 to 11.

Categories include hedgehog cupcakes and a hedgehog collage for under-sevens, while children aged between eight and 12 are invited to bake a decorated hedgehog chocolate cake or build a hedgehog.

There are also prizes on offer for the best cress head and painting of a farmyard in the younger section, and a tray of growing salad leaves and a poster on the theme of what a farmer means to you, for older children.

But young people are being urged not to leave it too late, with the deadline for registering their interest set for next Thursday (April 18).

Among those looking forward to taking part is seven-year-old James Yeardley, who returns to the county show having won First Prize in an art competition last year with his collage of a butterfly.

This time, James, who lives in Ompton, Near Ollerton, and is a pupil at Kneesall Church of England Primary School, has entered the hedgehog cupcake class, which his mum Hannah hopes will see him repeat his triumph of 2023.

She said: “In 2022 I entered a plate of eggs that had been laid by James’s bantams for a bit of a laugh and they won, so when I saw they were asking for entries from children I thought we’d get involved. 

“James enjoyed searching for art materials for his collage but when he saw all the other entries the evening before he wasn’t expecting to win. He raced to the tent on the day to see his collage on display and when he saw the red card with First Place on it he was delighted, and his face was a picture!

“The best thing about taking part is everyone seeing your entry on display and it’s so exciting on the day. It’s lovely that anyone can get involved and it’s really good fun.

“It’s also a celebration of that child’s connection with the countryside and their individuality. I loved that the judges had left encouraging feedback, which can only boost a child’s confidence and make them think their work is worth putting on show. “

There are a wide range of classes in the adult section of the Make, Bake and Grow section, including cakes, eggs, preserves and garden produce, and Elizabeth Halsall, organiser of the county show, said they are looking forward to seeing everybody’s entries on the day.

She said: “It’s a wonderful experience for a young person like James to see their hard work rewarded with a top prize, which is why we wanted to contact local schools and encourage their pupils to take part.

“We think the hedgehog theme will encourage our young bakers, makers and growers to get creative, however they choose to express themselves, but we’d encourage everybody to act quickly because we’re just days away from the closing date – and they will have to get down to work!”

Tickets are currently being sold at a discounted rate of £13 and for more information – and to become a member of the society and enjoy exclusive access – visit 

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