ORGANISERS of the New Forest Show have issued a "keep off the grass" warning to the army of workmen putting up a host of marquees.

Officials are determined to prevent lorries churning up the 38-acre showground at New Park, Brockenhurst, during the wet weather.

Contractors have been told to leave vehicles on various gravel tracks across the site and carry their equipment the rest of the way.

With just ten days to go before the start of the show, the strategy appears to be paying off.

Despite the recent downpours the turf was in perfect condition when chief executive Richard Cuzens and other key staff held a preview event yesterday.

Mr Cuzens said: "Over the past four weeks all of the contractors have made extraordinary efforts to protect this site - every tent has been carried in.

"Whatever the weather we will stage the most phenomenal show."

Highlights of this year's event will include a return appearance by the David Beckham Football Academy.

Each youngster who manages to book a place will undergo 20 minutes of football training before taking part in a soccer-related quiz.

The winner of a grand draw will spend three days at the Los Angeles branch of the academy.

Craftsmen exhibiting in the Countryside Area will include hurdle-maker Alan Brown, of Wool, Dorset, who is the seventh generation of his family to enter the profession.

The New Forest Hounds will also be making an appearance.

Hunting with dogs has been banned but enthusiasts across the country have turned to trail-hunting, which involves dogs chasing an artificially-laid scent.

The show takes place between July 24 and 26.