Farnborough will host the first Hampshire Farmers' Market for 2002 on Saturday, April 20, in Queensmead, from 10am until 2pm. This will be the first market run under the management of the new stallholder-led company, Hampshire Farmers' Markets Ltd, and it will be one the largest so far seen in the town.

When Hampshire County Council initiated the pilot scheme of Farmers' Markets in Winchester during 1999, the aim was ultimately to hand over the management to the producers and this has now been successfully achieved. Hampshire County Council will continue to support the market in Farnborough in conjunction with Rushmoor Council.

Throughout 2001 stallholders attending Hampshire Farmers' Markets have been working towards taking over the management of the markets from Hampshire County Council with the formation of their own limited company and this transition was completed in January.

John Cossburn, local bee farmer and chairman of the markets, said: "The farmers and growers in Hampshire are grateful to Hampshire County Council and the district and borough councils around the county for the work and support that has created the most successful series of farmers' markets in the country.

"Farmers' markets have proved to be a real lifeline to producers, particularly during the extreme problems faced by many in 2001.

"We look forward to returning to Farnborough as part of the full programme of 68 markets in 13 venues across the county. The markets will continue to offer the public the opportunity to purchase fresh, quality, local produce direct from the farmer and grower while maintaining a traditional market atmosphere.

"The criteria of only selling produce from Hampshire and within ten miles of the border will remain unchanged."

The April market will feature over 40 stalls. On Sunday, May 12, the markets will be in Aldershot and be back to Farnborough on June 15.