THE country's oldest flower show hopes to stir up the interest of the younger generation.

A team of volunteers is gearing up for Taunton Flower Show in Vivary Park on Friday and Saturday next week (August 4 and 5).

But bosses are facing up to the news that next year's 'Chelsea of the West' may have to move out of Vivary - its home for the past 166 years - after the 2018 show.

An exciting programme has been organised for this year's event, which opens for members at 9.30am on Friday and an hour later for members of the public, running until 7pm.

It opens from 10am until 6pm on Saturday.

As well as hundreds of competitors entering the flower, vegetables, crafts and other competition categories, visitors will be able to check out the designer gardens.

And the fun in the main arena includes a sheepdog display, the Xtreme Stunt Team, a dog and duck show, live music and parachute game.

There will be music for all tastes in the festival village, a history of the show and Gardeners Question Time in the demonstration marquee, as well as wine and beekeepers marquees and a children's village with go karts, comedy magic, a climbing wall, den building and plenty more.

Show chairman Adrian Prior-Sankey said the competition tent has been enlarged to cater for the increase in the number of entries.

He added: "We have made a concerted effort to engage the interest and involvement of a younger generation in the delivery of the 2017 event.

We welcome our regular contingents from local cadet units who exemplify the very best of uniformed youthful service and we are pleased to introduce members of the Duke of Edinburgh's gold award scheme from across the county, as well as young artists from Somerset Art Works.

"The youthful focus extends into the entertainment around the park.

"Gifted musicians from the 2nd Rossendale Scout Group band will herald the range of music on offer throughout the two days.

"Fresh faces and four-legged artistes as well as the skills of those on two wheels will appeal to children of all ages watching our arena acts."

Referring to the future of the show, Mr Prior-Sankey said: "We have reluctantly had to commence a search for a new home following a decision of Taunton Deane Borough Council which will make the cost of using Vivary Park prohibitive in future years.

"The consequences of the new policy mean that the 2018 show may have to be the last to be held in what has been its historic home for the past 166 years.

"Every effort is still being made to seek a partnership with the council to share the obvious risks associated with holding an open air event in the British summer, but to date no satisfactory arrangement has been found."