Ploughman's lunch for the furrowing Finns?

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The wildlife of Nynehead, Somerset, will be taking its annual vacation this weekend, as a fleet of tractors prepares to do battle for the 12th European Reversible and the 45th National Ploughing Championships. Today, 26 competitors from fields as far as Finland and the Czech Republic will be competing for the European Championships. In the next furrow, there will be action from the heats of the British Championships, as 84 seeded and unseeded conventional tractor ploughmen are whittled down to just 17 for Sunday's final. Other competitions will include Horse Ploughing and Vintage Tractor Ploughing (for pre-1960 tractors and ploughs). As Sunday draws to a close, the tension should be unstoppable, with the 17- man plough-off reaching its muddy climax. The victor will then have the honour of representing the Society of Ploughmen in the 1996 World Ploughing Contest in Ireland. As well as the competitive ploughing, there will be a display of vintage tractors and engines, including a 1913 Lister oil engine and a 1902 Gliddons sheep- shearing machine, plus trade stands and a craft marquee with wood turning, barrel-making and farmhouse baking on display. And for lunch? Pint of ale and a ploughmans, please.

British and European Ploughing Championships, today & tomorrow, Nynehead, Wellington, Somerset (01302 852469), 9am-5pm