DESPITE a damp start, bees, fashion, gardens and a return of the People’s Choice classes were among the highlights when the Great Yorkshire Show opened to visitors today.

Charles Mills, show director, said: “Despite a damp start to the show, visitors were out in force and we have enjoyed a great day which showcased how British agriculture strives to thrive whatever the weather!”

The first competitive trophy of the show, the Doncaster Cup for the best exhibit in the Garden Show went to Terry Marran of Primrose Bank, Kexby, York.

Terry said he had been exhibiting at the show for 35 years and this was the first time he had won the Doncaster Cup for the best exhibit in the Garden Show.

“Having never won here, at my local show, it is amazing to win now,” he said.

Television presenter Helen Skelton was new to the Vertu Motors GYS Stage, where she chatted with host Christine Talbot, as well as visiting the goat section to meet exhibitors and learning about cheese tasting and judging at the Cheese and Dairy Show.

Farming influencer and arable farmer Olly Harrison was among the panel members for a Rural Policy Group Debate. Farmers were encouraged to have their say on shaping the future of farming.

There was a triumphant return for the popular People’s Choice classes, with pigs taking centre stage on the first day.

Alyssia Horsley’s Berkshire sow Acaster Stonebow, known as PennyAlyssia Horsley’s Berkshire sow Acaster Stonebow, known as Penny (Image: UGC)

The class was won by Alyssia Horsley’s Berkshire sow Acaster Stonebow, known as Penny. The family are now on to the fifth generation of exhibiting at show.

The People’s Choice classes continue tomorrow in the goat classes and on Friday in the cattle rings.

The efforts of 16 volunteers were recognised with the presentation of the YAS Awards, including Michael Warren who has been a cattle steward since 1958, a grand total of 66 years.

Two Rowan trees were planted near the Hives and Honey area to commemorate the British Beekeeping Association 150th Anniversary this year. A total of 74 beekeeping associations have been asked to plant trees to make the anniversary to provide bee food for the future.

British Beekeeping Association chair Diane Drinkwater said: “Bees are so important in providing the wide range of food we have and their pollination gives us improved crops, from oil seed rape to all the orchard fruits.”

The beekeeping associations at the show have also been raising awareness of the threat to bees from Asian hornets. The insects feed on native bees and wasps, damaging biodiversity and sightings can be reported on the Asian hornet app.

Show director Mr Mills added: “We are looking forward to a better forecast for the week and to the world class competitions and stories of success to come.”