VITAL lessons have been learned as the Three Counties Showground – which brings £35m a year to the local tourism economy – plans its 2021 shows schedule.

The show team had to adapt quickly when Covid forced the cancellation of its three main shows this year - RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Royal Three Counties Show and Malvern Autumn Show.

Many third party events also had to be called off.

But the team needed just a few weeks to put together a virtual RHS Malvern Spring Festival followed by an even more ambitious virtual Royal Three Counties Shows.

And the silver lining is that these digital shows have reached a new audience which bodes well for the future.

Popular new technology attractions included the 3D rendered show gardens, Facebook live-steam Ask The Farmer sessions and first person Main Arena displays including a captivating helmet cam film from the Red Devils exiting their plane ready to land in the Main Arena.

With many children being home schooled during lockdown, a family fun and learning section saw huge hits for competitions, fact finding and fun ‘make at home’ activities.

Despite the success of the virtual shows the team could not wait to get back to creating real shows and worked hard to organise and host a number of new, outdoor socially distanced events. These included the very first Showground Saturday, a Three Counties Food & Drink Feast and the well-received Malvern Plant and Garden Fair.

Plans are now well underway for the 2021 shows – whatever Covid throws at us.