Crowds delighted at GWCT Scottish Game Fair

Last year’s record attendance was repeated again at the 33rd GWCT Scottish Game Fair. From the 1-3 July 32,400 visitors flocked to the three-day fair sponsored by NFU Mutual, which took place at Scone Palace in Perthshire.

Regular visitors and those new to the event gathered to celebrate the Scottish countryside, its vast array of exciting pursuits and the importance of conservation. Young and old alike, people came together to enjoy and celebrate all that The GWCT Scottish Game Fair has to offer.

Crowds were delighted with everything from gundog displays and competitions, falconry and hill pony demonstrations to shooting and fishing competitions plus off-road driving, foraging and delicious foodie inspiration. Around 2,000 people enjoyed the new Riverside Restaurant with Nick Nairn featuring a delicious menu inspired by game and the bountiful produce available in Scotland.

The 100 strong army of volunteers, alongside 2,300 staff working on trade stands, ticketing, car parking, and hospitality produced a spectacular fair and in the process generated £150,000 to fund GWCT scientific conservation research to protect endangered species including capercaillie and Atlantic salmon.

Headline sponsor NFU Mutual’s regional manager for Scotland, Mark McBrearty, said: “We’re delighted to have had the chance to headline sponsor the show for the fourth year running. We love meeting face-to-face with people and have had a lot of engagement with customers, some of whom we haven’t seen in a few years and it’s been great to catch up in this wonderful setting. Following the success of the gin bar last year, showcasing products from some of our customers, we decided to promote a new range of our customers products, including, Wallhouse Distillery, Isle of Skye Distillers, Gin Bothy, Blackford Craft Distillery and Bardowie Gins. In addition this year, we also had Jawbrew as our sole provider of beer. People have absolutely loved it! We are an insurer of all things in the rural community and so many of our customers attend this event. We want to support the GWCT as much as possible and believe the Scottish Game Fair is a fantastic event that celebrates the shared passion all of our organisations have for celebrating, protecting, and enhancing rural life in Scotland as much as possible.”

The GWCT’s Director for Scotland Rory Kennedy added: “This year’s event was a phenomenal success, entertaining and education tens of thousands of visitors over the space of three days. This year also saw us mark Scottish Year of Stories with an ambitious storytelling and book festival, spanning three distinct events tents and involving almost 30 traditional storytellers, conservationists, authors and interviewers.  This included a dedicated ‘kids nest’ to engage even the youngest of our visitors. This wonderful event proved highly successful and will form a really special addition to the Scottish Game Fair going forward.”

Show director James Gower added: “We thought last year was amazing but this year has surpassed our expectations. Given the show was arranged only 10 months after the 2021 event, we are really pleased with the outcome.  The community involved in fieldsports and conservation in Scotland is second to none. We are proud to attract an audience from much further afield too, providing a welcome boost to the local and regional economy. Game fairs are a great platform to showcase the wonderful produce Scotland has to offer and our exhibitors have enjoyed high spending crowds throughout the fair. From Bentleys and locally distilled gin, to tweeds and fishing tackle, across the board we have seen a record inflation-busting spend. The highlight for me is seeing the sea of smiling faces from traders, performers and visitors.”

Next year’s event takes place from Friday 30 June – Sunday 2 July 2023.