BEWILDERED shoppers were stopped in their tracks in Hereford today as a bull was paraded outside the cathedral.

Ronaldo the bull was part of the Royal Three Counties Show launch which saw TV presenter and farmer Adam Henson posing with the animal.

There will be a firm emphasis on Herefordshire during this year's annual agricultural show as it's the host county. The organisers say visitors will be able find out what the area has to offer, from sampling strawberries and sipping cider to discovering the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Children from Hereford Cathedral School also posed for photos with the bull, as the show marked the launch of 'school's go free Friday' this year.

Adam Henson, best known for his role in the BBC show Countryfile, said it's important that children know more about the countryside and where their food comes from.

He said: "Herefordshire is an incredibly well-known agricultural county, just behind the cathedral here would have been the market square with the cattle that would have been marketed there. It's steeped in history when it comes to food and farming.

"What's fantastic at the show this year is that they're allowing children under-16 in for free, they want to really educate young people about the food supply chain, about agriculture, about the countryside and about agriculture and that's got to be a good thing.

"We run the Cotswold Farm Park and we have 100,000 people coming through there, so they're learning about food and farming all the time. It's something my dad instilled in me as a child really.

"It's great to meet young people, who are interested and come along and have their picture taken with a great big Hereford bull. It's so important today when we're thinking about health, wellbeing and where our food comes from that young people can understand about agriculture and the food supply chain so they can make informed choices."

The Royal Three Counties show takes place in Malvern from June 14-16 and Head of Shows Diana Walton said the bull caught people's attention.

She said: "It's been really exciting, standing here outside the cathedral with Ronaldo the massive bull on the green creates a spectacle, there's a massive audience and hopefully it's been building the excitement for the Royal Three Counties Show.

"He (the bull) is completely iconic with Hereford. We're delighted because this year is Herefordshire's year to host the Royal Three Counties Show. It's fantastic for the county and we're delighted to be able to welcome so many exhibitors, trade, livestock and equine all from Hereford to the show."

Over 3,500 school children will attend the event on the opening day free of charge, with under-16s going free across the three days.