Heathfield Show – organisers appeal for information after targeted by vandals

19th May

damage to marquees

Show marquees slashed

Saturday morning, 18 May, the organisers of The Heathfield Show arrived to find that the showground had been the victim of criminal damage. Show marquees had been slashed multiple times in  a pointless act of vandalism. With only a week to go to the show, organisers are determined to carry on with the build, and stage the best show ever .

” Idiots have trespassed onto the Showground overnight and slashed their way round our marquees. How very disappointing – but the Show will still take place. Thousands of pounds worth of damage. Every year hundreds of volunteers work together to put on this fantastic agriculture show so that thousands of pounds can be donated to local charities and organisations. To jeopardise the show like this is a complete act of selfishness. Please contact me direct, in confidence, if you can help us apprehend the vandals. Secretary@heathfieldshow.org.” commented Nicola Magill, Show Secretary, as she appealed for help in tracking down the perpetrators on The Heathfield Show Facebook page.

People took to social media in their 100s to offer sympathy ‘What a disappointing start to what is usually a good event. Sorry you have to deal with this but good luck on a great show.’ was one comment.

There were also those who wanted to point the finger, someone suggested: ‘It will be those so called peaceful animal loving lot. The same idiots with no idea about animals or agriculture’. Tottingworth Farm, whose land the show takes place on, has long been targeted by animal rights protesters and it was suggested that this group had in some way been involved.

We contacted a spokesperson for Sussex Animal Save, who have been linked to peaceful protests in the area, and they gave us this statement to make their position clear:

“Our group has had nothing to do with this incident. Our goals are to raise awareness about the plight of farmed animals, to help people become vegan, and to build a mass-based, grassroots animal justice movement, whilst using a non violent and love based approach. Causing criminal damage would be going against our groups ethos, and our core values are close to our hearts.”

It isn’t just the Heathfield Show who have been affected by this. The level of damage to the marquees will potentially cause real issues for the marquee company who supply the show. With the wedding and summer event season in full swing they will be challenged to find ways to satisfy their summer bookings. It has also been necessary to increase the security provision, which is an extra costs for the show.

Nicola Magill explained ” We have increased the security on the site to 24 hour coverage, with regular patrols of the showground from now until the break down, which takes place after the 25 May Heathfield Show day. I would also like to thank those people who live next to site, who are are keeping vigilant, in case they see anything suspicious.”

The Heathfield Show, is a brilliant day out, located for one day only on Saturday 25 May in the heart of Wealden; exhibitors and competitors come together to celebrate the rich diversity of rural life. The show is staffed mainly by volunteers and raises thousands of pounds for local causes.

Tickets are available at a discounted rate of £15 in advance or ‘cash only’ on the day for £18, children are FREE (under 16s). BUY TICKETS NOW