Interview with Heathfield Show President Elizabeth Buchanan

The Heathfield & District Agricultural Show is one of the highlights of the farming year for the entire county. This year's President explains why it is so special

Elizabeth Buchanan has been going to the Heathfield Show since she was nine and was looking forward to this year’s with as much, if not more, excitement than she had for the first.She was delighted to be asked to be President this year but told the organisers that they would have to wait until lunchtime before she put on her official finery as she wanted to show her cattle in the morning!“I was bowled over to be invited to be president because I love the Show so much. I was thrilled to say yes to it and I’m hugely honoured to do it.“I’ve been going since I was about nine, I suppose and I went because that is what you always do if you live in Sussex. I used to compete there when I was riding and we’ve been showing cattle there since I guess about 1979.“It is absolutely part of the rhythm of the Sussex year and it is so lovely to find an agricultural show that is still that. “At the very heart of this show is the livestock and the farmers and the horses and all that makes rural Britain so special. It is so lovely that there is still somewhere left that celebrates farming-based rural life. And if we don’t have that we don’t have the sort of English countryside we all love so much.”Miss Buchanan co-manages the family’s organic livestock farm at Fletching, near Ashdown Forest, so is well versed in all matters agricultural. In her other life she was Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall until December 2008. She believes the Prince is the farmer’s staunchest supporter and really understands the issues they face today.“British farmers have not got a better advocate than the Prince of Wales. He cares so deeply about the countryside and the people who live in it and work in it. He understands because he is a farmer himself so he knows what it is like and he understands what the pressures are.”As Show President she is a positive enthusiast for the show which she says has something for all the family.One of its special points is that it is a one-day show so the public can get the full experience in one visit.“Whatever your family members want to see or do you’ll find it at Heathfield Show. It’s a day in a million and it’s one you miss at your peril.”She says that it is a testament to the wonderful work of the volunteers who run the show and to their supportive sponsors that such a professional and enjoyable event goes on every year.“This extraordinary thing that is Heathfield Show is run by volunteers. It is unbelievable. The work they do is absolutely breathtaking. These people put their heart and soul into it.”

The Show is on May 28 at Little Tottingworth Farm, Broad Oak, Heathfield TN21 8TH. For more details go to

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