TOMORROW heralds the opening of the country’s largest annual showcase of countryside field sports at Harewood House, with tens of thousands of visitors expected to descend upon the grounds of the stately home near Leeds despite the wet conditions in the run up to the event.
Visitors to the CLA Game Fair were being advised pull on their Wellington boots, but otherwise the grounds had stood up well to the unseasonal showers.
Tony Wall, the Fair’s director, said: “We had 40 hours of rain from Sunday afternoon through to Tuesday morning but luckily the preparations were well ahead of schedule so we just held the vehicles off the ground as best we could so they didn’t rip it to pieces.
“It’s looking like the forecast is more settled so it’s not going to stop us from going ahead. Our message to visitors is don’t worry about the weather, come along, we have a huge amount of weather contingency in place.
“I would suggest wearing something a little more substantial than flip flops but the ground has stood up well to the conditions.”
He said he was thrilled to be welcoming people to the Fair at Harewood - the first time the three-day event has been held in Yorkshire since 2003.
“It’s a beautiful estate because it’s hilly and the house sits beautifully well overlooking the site - it’s a lovely venue.”
Among the highlights on the first today of the Fair today are displays by the GB Timbersports squad, a Shetland pony grand national, sheepdog training, parades of hounds and cookery demonstrations.
The amateur round of the CLA’s Game Chef of the Year will get underway and the compatibility of conservation with modern farming techniques will be debated by a panel of industry heavyweights.
For more details and for ticket information, visit www.gamefair.co.uk