Organisers of the Royal Show are blaming hot weather for a 5% drop in visitor numbers over the four-day event.

Haymarket Land Events has admitted that the gate of 141,300 was 7000 fewer than in 2005 and suggested that it was temperatures of 33C that kept people away.

“The Department of Health heat-health alert status reached level 3 – the first time since the summer of 2003 when a heatwave killed 27,000 people across Europe,” said HLE’s managing director Dominique Gill.

“It’s not surprising that some of our anticipated audience stayed away as the media warned of the effects of the heat and sun.
“We were delighted with this year’s show,” she added.

But some visitors and exhibitors have expressed concern about the show. First-time exhibitor Ben Young of Fayrewood Game pointed out that one or two traders left the food pavilion before the event had even finished.

“I spoke to a number of exhibitors and the general consensus seemed to be that the show had poor attendance, was poorly laid-out and the general aim of the show was unclear.

“Weather did play a part, but you also need to question the direction of the show.

The Royal just isn’t competing with some of the regional shows.”