Country fun at the stately home

Warm weather attracted big crowds to The Country Show at Castle Ashby at the weekend.

Thousands of people enjoyed the chance to browse around the dozens of arts and crafts stalls set up in the grounds of the Northamptonshire stately home owned by Lord Compton.

The entertainment on offer included a duck herding display, plus birds of prey and agility dogs. Children were amused by Punch and Judy shows, a stilt-walker and a massive inflatable slide.

Emma Owen, director of Oakleigh Fairs who organised the event, said: "I am really pleased.

It is a gorgeous setting and people have come out in droves to enjoy all the different entertainment on offer.

There is something for everybody with sheep shows, agility dogs display, falconry and fantastic arts and crafts stalls.

People have been staying for a long time. We look forward to coming back next year."

One of the most popular attractions on Sunday proved to be the sheep show, presented by New Zealand high country shepherd Stuart Barnes, who also invited children from the audience to help herd a group of ducks.

The gardens and tea rooms at the house were open to the public and the Knights of Honour, a 14th century medieval re-enactment society, carried out demonstrations throughout the weekend.

Amie Somerset-Williams, wedding and events planner at Castle Ashby, who along with Mark Brooks, head gardener, helped organise the show, said: "We have been absolutely overwhelmed by the turnout.

To see the grounds come to life makes it all very rewarding.

We would like to thank all the staff who have helped."