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Large crowds at Dorset County Show

Large crowds have attended the Dorset County Show Credit: ITV News

The first day of the Dorset County Show has attracted large crowds.

Sixty thousand people are expected at the showground near Dorchester over the weekend. Judges say there's been a high standard of entry in the horticulture and livestock classes.

There are also food tents, trade stands and many other displays.

The show's secretary, Sam Mackenzie-Green, says it's the diversity that helps attract so many people:

"We're a combination things. It's the main ring attractions, we've got Bolddog Lings which people are really excited about seeing. The National Vegetabel Society's national championships again which appeals to a whole other group of people. And we have so much food and drink, local food and drink, I think there is something for everyone".

Summer closes as Dorset County Show opens

Livestock shows are just one of the attractions at the show. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Preparations are underway for the start of the Dorset County Show.

The event, which traditionally celebrates the end of harvest, is one of the last shows on the south west agricultural calendar.

The ground near Dorchester will open to the public tomorrow and Sunday.

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Farmers meet to discuss West Country's Beef crisis

A meeting was held today aimed at trying to solve the latest crisis facing the West's beef industry - Farmers say they're struggling and some are even considering giving up.

Prices have plummeted in recent months, with a 20% fall in the price per kilo compared with this time last year. The cut the farmers get from supermarkets has also gone down to less than 50%. It's led to losses of up to £200 per cow.

Not surprisingly there are now fears that an increasing number will quit the industry. Bob Cruwys sent this report.

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DEFRA minister at Royal Bath and West

DEFRA Minister Dan Rogerson is attending the CLA Business Breakfast at the Royal Bath and West Show where he's fielding questions about the badger cull and flooding.

Our reporter Laura Makin-Isherwood is in the audience. You can follow her tweets here.

Duchess of Cornwall among guests at Bath & West Show

The Duchess of Cornwall on a past visit ot the Bath & West Show Credit: ITV News West Country

Thousands of people are expected for the opening day of the 151st Royal Bath and West Show near Shepton Mallet. Among the visitors will be the Duchess of Cornwall, who will tour the livestock rings and the food hall.

Camilla is a strong supporter of local sourcing and ways to help children learn about where food comes from. The show attracts around 150,000 people over the four days

Owen Paterson to announce Flood Recovery Fund plan in Somerset

Owen Paterson is due to visit Somerset today Credit: PA

The Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, will be in Somerset this morning to announce the next phase of the flood recovery fund for farmers.

From 28 April, the Farm Recovery Fund will be open to applications for grants of up to £35,000.

Farmers will be able to apply for the cash to help cover the costs of restoring flood damaged agricultural land.

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