Belfast Telegraph

Balmoral Show gears up for Schools Trail users

Firmus energy are proud sponsors of the Schools Trail. No sooner have the front gates of the King’s Hall opened each day at Balmoral Show, than flocks of schoolchildren arrive in their droves to follow the ever popular Schools Trail.

Guaranteed to make attending the Show an even better experience, you can download the new Junior and Senior Schools Packs from the Balmoral Show website, and complete the activities in the classroom.

Kiddies can also look out for Henri Hippo on the Ulster Bank stand and see him throughout the Showgrounds.

This year’s Schools Trail has 13 zones and it takes 90 minutes to complete with a guide.

The Schools Trail expedition is one of surprises, thrills and happy memories.

Schools Trail Plan

1 The Horse Rings

Here you will view many different breeds, including mares and foals. A filly is a young female horse and a colt is a male. Watch the owners grooming and plaiting the tails of each horse and even painting their hooves before they are shown in their classes. Wednesday will have a full programme of hunters and young horses on show all day. Thursday in Horse Ring 2 will feature two parades of donkeys, complete with carts, turf baskets and riders.

2 firmus energy stand

Here you can learn all about natural gas and what it is used for. See exhibits which require natural gas and how it keeps your home cosy all year long. Don’t forget to enter the firmus energy competition on the day and return it to the Schools Reception Kiosk or firmus energy (stand E6).

3 McDonalds

As a main supporter of the Northern Ireland Beef Industry, McDonalds work closely with the local farmers. Visit the interactive stand and learn about the supply of food from the field, and how it gets to the busy kitchens for serving in the hundreds of McDonald restaurants.

4 Good Food Pavilion

Kids have a chance to sample their favourite treats and see locally produced ice cream, sausages, apple juice and cereal. See if you can find the ‘lazy farmer’ in the children’s area. Then plant your own lettuce seed when you locate him.

5 The Kids Zone

This is an area dedicated to kids and showing them lots of farm animals. The children’s petting farm is a long time favourite at Balmoral Show where mothers enjoy a few moments respite from pushing prams.

6 Ulster Bank

Meet up with your favourite banking character Henri Hippo and learn how to save all your pennies. Henri will also tour the Showgrounds, so stop him and say hello!

7 United Dairy Farmers

The Dale Farm Stand is another long time Balmoral favourite where you can taste lots of delicious dairy products. Milk shakes and yoghurts to name but a few treats are all healthy products. Learn where they come from and how you will benefit.

8 Harberton Hall

There are more than 700 birds of every colour shape and size in this noisy hall. Turkeys, geese, coloured roosters crowing at the top of their voices, ducks quacking and hens clucking. There are even pigeons and a decorated egg section. The hall alongside contains a host of cuddly bunnies from a wide variety of European breeds. See the French lops and lovable Lionheads and maybe a gigantic Belgian Hare.

9 Balmoral Hall

Here you can visit the DOE road safety stand where this year’s theme is ‘seatbelts’. The DOE will promote the Seatbelt Sheriff Initiative. Skooter the Seatbelt Sheriff will appear throughout the stand several times a day and warn ‘No Seatbelt, No Excuse.’ Learn all about the seatbelt rules and regulations which came into effect in 2007.

10 Pigs, Goats and Rare Breeds Hall

Delightful breeds of yesteryear, including the amazing Saddleback sows and Gloucester Old Spots. The goat milking competition is also interesting. Fun Fact - A female goat is called a ‘nanny’ and a baby goat is called a ‘kid.’

11 Sale Ring Building

Watch sheep having their wool removed by experienced and competitive shearers.

12 Cattle Lawn

See a selection of cattle breeds from both dairy and beef sections. See the young cow handlers in action and a sheep and duck display at 5.30pm on Friday. Fun Fact – Did you know cows drink about a bathtub full of water and eat around 40 pounds of food a day.

13 Safefood Stand

Learn about the importance of hand washing, especially if you have been out and about on the safefood interactive farm. Hygiene is vital for everyday living. After handling raw meat and eggs or touching bins and pets, washing regularly means you avoid all sorts of nasty illnesses including food poisoning.

After a busy expedition on the Schools Trail remember that the Tayto Pony Club Games are the grand finale to Thursday evening’s programme in the main arena. This begins at 7pm so why not relax in the grandstand and cheer on your local team, before heading home.

Belfast Telegraph