Bakewell Agricultural and Horticultural Society is a charity run by a Board of Directors elected by Members.
To provide an independent voice for local agriculture, horticulture and forestry, lobbying on their behalf and supporting best practice in food production and the use of natural resources.
BAHS has its roots in the depression following the devastatingly expensive Napoleonic Wars.
Struggling farmers - unable compete with imports of food which kept farm gate prices down - needed an organisation to speak for them and lobby the government to impose heavier taxes on imported produce. A meeting of local farmers and
landowners resulted in the formation of The Scarsdale and High Peak Agricultural Society.
The aim was to support local agriculture and forestry (horticulture was merged a few years later) and, if appropriate, to hold an event showcasing the land-based sector in the rural economy. It was the forerunner of Bakewell Agricultural and Horticultural Society which holds the same aims and values today.
The first competitive show of cattle, horses, sheep and pigs was held in July 1819. It was the blueprint of the modern Bakewell Show which was held for more than 180 years, interrupted only by swine flu, two wars and bad weather which deluged the showground.
To find out more about the history of Bakewell Show and how it developed, including connections with royalty and celebrities see “The Book of Bakewell Show – The Little
In the 21st century public demand has changed and agricultural shows across the country have had to change too - to reflect growing interest in the environment and food traceability.
BAHS addressed the situation by taking the traditional Bakewell Show back to its roots - supporting agriculture, horticulture and forestry and showcasing the rural economy – and organising the Farm to Plate event in 2019 to celebrate 200 years of the Society. This is the blueprint for our shows in the future.
BAHS also holds stand-alone events such as the Dog Show, Horticultural Show and celebrations of local food. Other events including caravan rallies, sponsored walks and beer festivals organised by third parties also held on the Showground.
Our aim as a Society is to work closely with local farmers, food producers and others involved in the rural economy in and around Bakewell to build close relationships for the benefit of all.