Fair backs traditional skills

Heavy horses in action.
Heavy horses in action.

A north Northumberland farm, which is a centre for the UK’s native horses, is hosting a traditional skills fair next month.

Looking Back, which is billed as a great family event, takes place at Hay Farm on the Ford and Etal Estate between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday, October 11 and 12.

And for those that attend, one of the main attractions will be the chance to watch heavy horses working, including the only mule team in the county.

The event is run by Milfield Heavy Horse Association, a not-for-profit organisation supported by either grants, fund-raising or donations where all activities are carried out voluntarily.

The objective of the organisation is to raise awareness of the importance that heavy horses played within not only farming, with which they are most commonly associated, but also many other activities throughout their era.

It helps to promote the old working skills and practices that are now disappearing, with the intention of trying to encourage younger generations to participate in some of these skills.

The association is presently developing Hay Farm, allowing the public to integrate with horses, learn of their history, view old working horse machinery and watch crafters at work.

The Looking Back event will also feature a market and old skills demonstrations such as spinners, corn dollies, a blacksmith, leather crafts and pole lathe turning, alongside other local crafters and food producers, all under cover.

There is also an opportunity visit the working corn mill for an extra charge, plus a hog roast and cider bar.

Tickets cost £2.50 for adults and £1 for children. For more information, visit www.hayfarmheavies.co.uk