Ploughing is a farming activity designed to bury trash from the previous crop. This prevents weed growth and leaves a surface that is easily worked to a seed bed for the next crop.
The basic design of a plough has changed little. It has a cutting point to separate the furrow and a curved body to turn the furrow. The power to pull the plough has progressed over hundreds of years from oxen to horses, to steam engines and in the 20th century to tractors.
Throughout the evolution of ploughing local farms have competed with neighbouring farms to be the best ploughmen. Matches were arranged to prove who was best. The Society of Ploughmen was formed in 1972 to draw up national rules for these local matches and to promote the activity. A World Championship developed and ploughs for this purpose became very sophisticated. Simultaneously classes were introduced for vintage tractors and vintage ploughs and this aspect became the main part of local matches. Sherwood Forest Ploughing Match is only for vintage tractor ploughing – and perhaps a pair of magnificent horses.