Organisers of the annual Hadleigh Show are aiming to bring down their carbon by 30% by adopting greener energy sources this year.

The event's generators will be powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and a new Food in the Field area will include a solar-powered disco.

The 185th Hadleigh Show - which takes place on Saturday, May 18, at Hadleigh's Holbecks Park - will also be recycling 95% of its waste.

Show director George Halsall - a potato and beef farmer based at Langham, near Colchester - is keen on regenerative methods and wanted to promote a sustainability agenda at the show.

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Show organiser Tory Lugsden said although it cost more at £2 a litre compared to about £1.30/£1.40 a litre to buy HVO instead of conventional fuel it would cut emissions by about 90%.

About 92% of stand-holders will be coming from within a 50-mile radius - which will also keep carbon lower.

Overall, emissions are likely to be about a third lower, but inevitably, many head to the show by car which would mean some carbon impact, she added.

"We had our carbon impact assessed and it should cut our carbon by 30%," she said. "It's small steps."

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Children attending the show will be issued with wrist bands containing seeds which they can plant at home as part of the sustainability theme.

Hadleigh Men's Shed has been building horse sculptures made of tyres and a sustainability tree for the event.

Any surplus money made from the show goes to charity. Over the past two years, it has raised about £25k for good causes each year. 

​Although organisers of shows this year have been concerned about the threat of Bluetongue - a disease affecting cattle and sheep - so far new outbreaks have not occurred meaning livestock competitions are due to go ahead.

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Cattle, sheep, donkeys and heavy horses will be among the attractions at the event, which will be supported by 222 volunteer stewards on the day.

Poultry will  make a welcome return after last year's bird flu ban was lifted. Wildfowl displays, however, will not go ahead as a result of an ongoing Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) ban.

Tradestand spaces which will feature food, clothes and gardening wares are already full to capacity.

Among the highlights in the rings will be the Stannage Stunt Display Team, vintage machinery, gun dogs, terriers - and the annual Sheep Show.

 A Stocks Fair will be open on the Friday evening and Sunday of the show weekend with rural crafts, a floral marquee, a horticulture tent, an education tent and art show.

The showground was due to get its first cut of the year this year in readiness for the event.

Tory was appointed show organiser and secretary back in 2019 but due to the pandemic this will be her third event.

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Preparations take place year-round but activity ramps up from October when trade stands are booked. Livestock and equine competition entries are now closed but show-jumping entries remain open until May 5.

"We are all very, very excited," she said. Plans are well advanced, she added. 

Tickets are available online only or via the show's outlets. Cheaper early-bird tickets are available until May 5. Showgoers are urged to buy their tickets early – either via local outlets or via the website at