A CELEBRATION of Herefordshire's hop-growing looks set to be bigger and better this year.

The Bromyard Hop Festival returns for its fourth year on Saturday, August 30 and the event has added local community benefactor Clive Richards to its fund-raising team, which already includes Wye Valley Brewery and hop merchants Charles Faram, to ensure its goes ahead.

Teme Valley Brewery also give support as part of regional hop-growers’ organisation Hopshires, while Mayfields and Hobsons’ breweries add their ales to the selection on sale in the town's hostelries during the festivall.

It attracts crowds of about 3,500 people and it offers a craft fair, displays of rural crafts, live music and culminates in the unique Hop Pocket World Championship race which sees teams of four run up and down Broad Street and High Street carrying a full-size hop pocket.

The day will run from 10am, with a much-expanded parade of vintage and horse-drawn vehicles taking place at 1pm and a new community play about the mechanisation of the hop-yards in the 1960s will be performed at the Conquest Theatre and on the Town Green.

It is also planned to have street performers for the first time.

For more information, go to bromyardhopfestival.co.uk.