Success in the sun

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The GWCT Scottish Game Fair returned for 2021 with a fantastic turn out

Near on 32,000 visitors flocked to the 32nd GWCT Scottish Game Fair, sponsored by NFU Mutual, which took place from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September at Scone Palace in Perthshire.

Following the cancellation of the 2020 event and a later date for 2021, the excitement around the showground throughout the weekend was palpable. Gathering to celebrate the Scottish countryside, its vast array of exciting pursuits and the importance of conservation; people were able to come together once again to enjoy all that The GWCT Scottish Game Fair has to offer.

Along with plenty of first-time attendees, including HRH The Princess Royal, were visitors who return year after year to see everything from gundog displays and competitions, falconry and hill pony demonstrations to shooting and fishing competitions plus off-road driving, delicious foodie inspiration and tips from top game chefs and industry experts in the Richmond Kettle Kitchen Theatre.  Not to mention the shopping!

Lucy and Derek Black from Dunfermline who were attending the event for the first time said: “We’ve been looking forward to this weekend for a while as we’ve had two cancelled holidays this year and we’ve been trying to explore more of what’s going on in Scotland to make up for not getting away. Thankfully we’ve had lots of sunshine which added to the experience but it’s great to see the falconry displays, try a bit of clay pigeon shooting – which I’d never done before – and eat so much tasty food. It’s been fab and we will definitely be back next year!”

Headline sponsor NFU Mutual’s regional manager for Scotland, Mark McBrearty, said: “We’ve loved having the chance to attend a show again and meet people face-to-face. We’ve had a lot of engagement with customers we’ve not seen in a long time, and it’s been great to catch up in this wonderful setting. This year we decided to add a gin bar, showcasing products from some of our customers who are gin distillers including Persie, Badvo, Lussa, The Gin Bothy and Kintrye. 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 commented: “Nobody should underestimate the epic task of delivering a public event of this scale during a pandemic. Added to this was a new delivery team who faced an extremely short run-in time. What we delivered was a true festival of the countryside: thousands of families, school trips, leading politicians and policy makers engaging with the shooting community, senior royalty lunching with the Scottish gamekeeping community and everywhere you looked there were old friends meeting up – all celebrating our rural way of life.”

Show director James Gower added: “I think the GWCT Scottish Game Fair 2021 has been one of the best yet, certainly in terms of attendance. But it’s also been a celebration, because it’s been a while since people could get together, meet their friends and socialise on an occasion like this. We were so thrilled HRH The Princess Royal was able to visit us and enjoy the event herself. It’s incredibly important to me that all the traders and exhibitors here do well, and they have. I think the expenditure here has been tremendous. It’s wonderful to be back at Scone Palace and to see so many families who are enjoying all that this event has to offer as there really is something for everyone. So many people have brought their dogs along; the main ring is packed full of entertainment with smiling faces looking on; it’s just fantastic to see and this is something all the organisers involved can be extremely proud of.”

Next year’s event takes place from Friday 1 – Sunday 3 July 2022.