A true celebration of Chilterns excellence

Heavy horse and stands at Ashridge.  Picture by John Morris
Heavy horse and stands at Ashridge. Picture by John Morris

A fabulous celebration of the delicious food and impressive craftwork of the Chilterns countryside will be on show at Ashridge Estate this weekend.

This is the ninth year for the Chilterns Countryside and Food Festival, hosted by the Chilterns Conservative Board and National Trust, and 120 stands will demonstrate the various activities, crafts, industries and wildlife associated with the area.

Cathy Rose from the Chilterns Conservation Board said: “The Chilterns counties of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire are home to a huge variety of food producers, artists, craftspeople and environmental organisations and this event is dedicated to them. Over 95 per cent of the exhibitors come from within 25 miles of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.”

More than 55 food stands will sell produce ranging from cheeses, cakes and chutneys to pies, pastries and poultry. And there will be a chance to tuck into a wide range of hot food including locally produced sausages, bacon, burgers, a hog roast, pizza, jacket potatoes and crepes plus a range of vegetarian options.

Thirty seven craft stalls will include turned and carved wood, clothing, homewares, jewellery, cards, photographs and accessories, Many stallholders will be demonstrating their skills, and in some cases visitors will be able to have a go themselves.

A highlight of the event at the estate near Berkhamsted from 10am to 4pm on Sunday (September 13) is the music stage. Local acts performing will include Jimmy Brewer, Rag ‘n’ Roll Music, The Buzzstables and Julian Mann.

The forestry and woodcraft area always draws the crowds. Woodland contractors will be demonstrating a mobile sawmill and firewood processor, a chainsaw carver will be creating rustic works of art and the traditional craft of bodging will be demonstrated.

The National Trust’s foresters will be on hand to answer questions and there will be a chance to buy items made from wood grown on the Ashridge Estate. And around 30 local environmental organisations will have stands.

Admission is £4 for adults, £1 for children. Admission prices apply to National Trust members and there will be a small additonal charge for some activities.

Free parking will be available in the meadow beside the events field.