22 June 2000
Rain greets Royal Highland crowds

By FWi staff

HEAVY showers greeted the opening of the Royal Highland Show near Edinburgh on Thursday (22 June).

But organisers were confident an estimated 150,000 people would attend, topping last years visitor figure of 143,015 over four days.

Thursday morning was overcast and by 10.30am the heavens had opened, sending visitors and exhibitors scurrying for umbrellas.

But a show spokesman predicted that business worth around 100 million would be undertaken on the showground despite the agricultural crisis.

Market conditions are tough, but Scottish farmers leader Jim Walker believes progress is being made in securing a better future for agriculture.

Mr Walker, president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, said the Scottish parliament has benefited the farm sector north of the border.

Scottish rural affairs minister Ross Finnie, who has responsibility for agriculture in Scotland, is attending the Royal Highland Show.

Mr Walker said: He has brought a fresh approach to the job, with a good understanding of the marketplace and where we need to go.

Also among the guests will be Princess Anne, president of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the shows organisers.

About 1500 overseas visitors from 70 countries are expected to attend the four-day show which runs until Sunday (June 25).