ORGANISERS have hailed the inaugural Shobdon Food and Flying Festival a soaring success after nearly 5,000 people flocked to the village last weekend.

The combined attractions of one of the region’s favourite food events and Herefordshire Aero Club’s annual aviation weekend proved a winning combination for visitors – some chose to arrive by air to the historic Second World War airstrip to get a head start on sampling the attractions.

Visitors enjoyed a myriad of mostly local produce including wines, beers, cheeses and succulent local meats from almost 60 producers in total.

And there was also a host of aviation attractions from trial flights to parachute displays by the Armed Forces as well as arts and crafts, live music, cooking demonstrations and more.

Co-organiser, Matt Teale said: “We’re thrilled with how it’s gone. There was a certain amount of trepidation moving the food festival from the grounds of Shobdon Church to the airfield, but it all worked brilliantly.

“The sun shone and it was great to see hundreds of people sat outside enjoying some of Herefordshire’s finest produce while watching the various aerial attractions.”

It’s not known how much the event raised – profits will be split equally between Shobdon Aero Club and the Food Festival’s supported causes.

Shobdon church and local children’s charities Megan Baker House and The Little Princess Trust will benefit.

“We’ve already started looking at ways we can improve things in 2014 – it will be the Food Festival’s tenth anniversary and we are keen to make it extra-special,” Matt added