The Bath & West Show: In figures

There’s just one day to go until the Royal Bath & West Show opens its doors – but what goes into making an event of this kind such a success? We take a look at some key figures and behind-the-scenes activity.

“Planning starts years in advance,” explains head of shows Alan Lyons. “We have a team of 24 full-time staff, steered by an esteemed board of trustees and individual committees which oversee the many varied sections of the Show.” Guided by visitor and exhibitor feedback, the Show team also visit other events to get inspiration for main show acts and features – like this year’s heart-stopping FMX Bike Battle – while keeping the Society’s charitable values and West Country character at its heart.

In recent years the Society has replaced generic food stalls with high quality, West Country fare, introduced a festival feel with an area for live music, extended the entertainment into the evening and opened an on-site campsite for those wishing to stay over. Livestock exhibitors haven’t missed out, either, with the opening of the new 500-seat restaurant in the remodelled Wessex Pavilion just last month, where they will be entertained with the sociable Showman’s Supper.

So what can visitors get to see at the 156th Royal Bath & West Show? Here is a glimpse of the show in figures:

Main show

  • 135,000 visitors
  • 1.5ha of marquees, pavilions and temporary stables
  • 3.5 miles of barriers and 1 mile of temporary fencing
  • 1,231 signs erected
  • Over 400 volunteers
  • Over 4,000 animals
  • Almost 600 trade stands
  • 94% of waste is used to generate renewable energy


  • 261 beef cattle
  • 187 dairy cattle
  • 1,392 sheep
  • 215 pigs


  • British Cheese Awards – over 800 entries
  • Orchard & Cider Section – over 500 entries


  • Light Horse & Pony – 1,529
  • Scurry – 54
  • Private driving – 42
  • Heavy horses – 81
  • Pony Club games – 18 teams


Main ring exhibits include:

  • FMX Bike Battle – stunt bikes
  • Army vs Navy rugby match
  • Show jumping
  • Inter-hunt relay
  • Hot air balloon ascent
  • Heavy horse team driving
  • Grand parade of livestock champions


Behind the scenes

  • Over 800 packed lunches served to stewards and volunteers
  • 316 stables hired in for equine exhibits
  • 12t of coal for Vintage Vehicles and Shoeing
  • 180m3 of soft peeled wood to create a soft surface for cattle to walk on
  • 418 picnic tables hired in – enough to seat 2508 people



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About The Author

John Swire - Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.