18 April 2001
Game Fair on despite disease

By Isabel Davies

THIS years Game Fair – billed as the worlds greatest countryside event – will go ahead despite the foot-and-mouth crisis, organisers are hoping.

The Country Land and Business Association still plans to go ahead with the three-day event, due to take place on 27-29 July at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire.

The decision to proceed was made because exhibitors and visitors were asking for it to happen – and was not because of a lack of empathy.

Most cancelled countryside shows are livestock-based, said spokeswoman Fiona Eastman, but the Game Fair is not.

“If the event does go ahead it will show there has been a return to normality, and it would be just the tonic the countryside needs,” she said.

“We are keeping a close eye on the situation and taking advice.”

The Game Fair is one of Britains most prestigious countryside events and last year attracted over 125,000 visitors to Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

CLA game fair director David Hough said the event was the place to visit for anybody who had as much as a passing interest in the countryside.

“The Game Fair reflects all the issues which are the heart of rural life, and it offers opportunities for serious debate on policies and politics,” he said.

“But is still retains a vital element – it offers an enjoyable day out, with masses of interest for everybody.”

A National Farmers Union spokesman said he was sure organisers would continue to take advice, and farmers could decide for themselves whether to go.

“I dont think there is any great outcry about this – and hopefully by July the situation will be looking a lot better than it is now,” he said.

Foot-and-mouth – confirmed outbreaks
Foot-and-mouth – FWi coverage