Harvest festival will be the best baa none as sheep take residence in Ely Cathedral for the celebrations

Ely Cathederal harvest festival. Picture: Steve Williams.

Ely Cathederal harvest festival. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The countryside is coming to Ely Cathedral for the annual harvest festival weekend from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 October.

Sheep, a vintage tractor and spectacular food and flower displays will take centre stage inside the Cathedral as the National Farmers Union (NFU) links up with local organisations and companies to showcase the wide variety and high quality of produce grown in the Fens.

The theme this year celebrates Great British food.

Sheep supplied by farmers Mark Drew and Frances Cook from Rampton, Cambridgeshire will be taking temporary home inside the Cathedral, along with an Allis-Chalmers Model B tractor, dating back to the 1940s.

The tractor will be at the heart of an arrangement prepared by the Cathedral Flower Guild.


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Alongside the displays will be photographs of farm scenes from the 1960s and free copies of the NFU’s new recipe booklet.

Organisations taking part include Cambridgeshire Beekeepers, the Farmland Museum at Denny Abbey, G’s Growers at Barway, Tompsett Growers Ltd and Cambridge-based research organisation NIAB.

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Events kick off at 7pm on Friday 7 with a harvest supper in the Lady Chapel, including musical entertainment.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children under 12 and they are available from the Ely Cathedral box office on 01353 660349.

The harvest festival exhibition is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 8 and 12.30pm to 4pm on Sunday 9, the start of the Harvest Songs of Praise service.

Admission to the Cathedral is free on both days.

Charities supported by the harvest festival weekend this year are the Addington Fund and Ely Foodbank.

An added attraction this year is a mini potato festival on Cross Green, beside the Cathedral, from 12pm to 3pm on Saturday 8.

It includes children’s activities run by Littleport Lions Club, a potato recognition challenge for adults, and the chance to decorate a potato at home and bring it along.

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