Date confirmed for ploughing match

The traditional Sidmouth Junction and District Ploughing Match will this year take place just off the old A30 at Fairmile.

A highlight in the local farming calendar, the event will start at 10am on September 8.

It usually attracts competitors from across the district.

Ploughing matches became popular nationally between the wars. Some involve horse-drawn ploughs but many use the more modern tractor. Larger events can include a combination of both, with classes.

At Fairmile, farmers will be competing for points that will take into account the neatness of furrows and their straightness.

A three-day ploughing match, the Irish National Ploughing Championships, is one of the largest outdoor events in the world and includes commercial exhibits.

Ploughing has been part of farming for more than 4,000 years when simple hand tools were replaced by ‘scratch’ inventions.

These early ploughs were usually pulled by oxen. They were perfected in the 1600s, but reversing mechanisms and the ability to adjust front furrow widths signalled the beginning of a new era for farmers after the Second World War.

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