The final touches are being put in place for Scotland’s national smallholding festival which takes place at Ingliston this weekend.

The event, now in its twelfth year, is an opportunity for small-scale producers and growers to mark the end of the production year and exchange knowledge and ideas ahead of the next season.

The organisation behind the event believes there are around 20,000 smallholders across Scotland.

The event includes Scotland’s only pig show which presents an opportunity for pedigree pig keepers to promote their breed and their stock to industry and the public.

Rare Breeds Survival Trust will mark its 50th anniversary and will celebrate a range of rare breeds, with prizes offered for the best Rare Breeds on show, including a supreme show champion.

SRUC Theatre is a brand-new area as a result of a partnership with Scotland’s Rural College, hosting part of the seminar programme and providing professional and hands-on education for smallholders attending the event.

Due to the ongoing situation with Avian Influenza, the organisation is unable to hold a Poultry & Waterfowl Show this year.

Rural skills displays include drystone walling, sourdough bread making, basket weaving and apple pressing.

More than 30 different breeds of sheep, 9 breeds of goat, and 11 breeds of pig will be on show, as well as an equine parade featuring displays of Clydesdale horses and Highland ponies, as well as Fell, Eriskay, Dales, and New Forest Ponies and Cleveland Bay horses.

The Scottish Smallholder Festival is run by Smallholding Scotland, a charity set up to provide education and support for smallholders across the country.

The festival runs on a ‘not for profit’ basis, and the main organising team is all volunteers the event also allows those who are interested in rural life and farming to get a close-up view of small-scale farming, introducing them to skills and livestock they would not normally encounter, to see what can be achieved in a small scale farming environment.

The event was formerly held in Angus, but the closure of Forfar Mart forced the organisation to look for a new venue.

A new deal, with the support of the Scottish Government, was agreed earlier this year and will see the Royal Highland Centre host the event for three years.

At the time, Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougoen welcomed the deal.

She said: “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting smallholders and the role they can play in delivering our Vision for Agriculture and the sustainable production of high-quality food.

“The closure of Forfar Mart was a real blow to Scottish smallholders and rural communities on the east coast - impacting not only the farming community in that area but also the wider rural economy.

“That’s why we’re providing further funding to the 12th Scottish Smallholder Festival to help the organisation move to the flagship national central venue for Scottish agriculture.

“Celebrating the very best that this part of the agricultural industry has to offer, the event provides attendees the opportunity to engage in seminars and knowledge exchange and showcase their products and livestock.”