The CLA Game Fair 2010
PUBLISHED: 16:33 15 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 20 February 2013
The CLA Game Fair claims to be the biggest celebration of the countryside and country sports and it's being held in Warwickshire for the first time in 40 years - and that's worth an estimated £15-£17 million to the local economy.
Ragley Hall, near Alcester, is the venue for the 2010 CLA Game Fair which returns to the county after an absence of 40 years. Ragley Hall was chosen, according to Game Fair director David Hough, not only due to its location and easy accessibility, but also because: it has all the physical features that our sites need, all in the right places. It is not just a question of finding a large open field its got to look and feel right.
The palatial 17th century house, set in Capability Brown parkland, certainly lives up to the grandeur of the shows previous sites such as Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. With over 1,000 exhibitors and around 140,000 visitors and worth an estimated 15-17 million to the local economy, it is an event that has gone from strength to strength since its creation in 1958. This enduring popularity David credits to a number of factors: We have diversified the show to bring in other countryside events to make it a really attractive show for all the family. At the same time we havent lost sight of all our core areas. So we have ensured that all the core, long-term areas of the exhibitions, all the ones the enthusiasts are heading for, are the best they very possibly can be.
An example of this and one David is particular is looking forward too, is the fishing area on the Ragley Hall lake: We have made a number of changes here this year and have brought in a wider range of fishing events. It has always been strong for game fishing but we have brought other types of fishing into it. I am looking forward to seeing these going really well.
Visitors will also be treated to displays of falconry, working gun dogs, archery, ferrets, shooting, woodland management, equestrianism and horticulture, in fact everything you expect from a game fair.
But the Fair is not just for die-hard country sports fans. With the whole family in mind there are plenty of events and displays designed to thrill even the most hardened adrenalin seeker. For brave souls there is mountain boarding (think snowboarding without the snow but with wheels) and a simulated parachute jump plenty of padding available!
An off-road driving experience is provided by Land Rover across a highly challenging course that will not only make your heart beat faster but also show off the Range Rovers capability to the maximum.
Children are particularly welcome at this event and there are many activities designed especially for them, from walking on water (well, actually walking in large, transparent balls on water) to a climbing wall and quad bikes. They may even persuade you to take a helicopter ride and hey you could even come by helicopter if you want to arrive in style.
Food is a big draw. In the Totally Food Show youll find exhibitions, cookery demonstrations (with lots of local chefs) and lots to sample and taste. One Warwickshire exhibitor is Rod Adlington, of Adlington Turkeys, Balsall Common near Coventry, the local committee member in charge of the food show. He says: "I am absolutely delighted that Ragley Hall has been chosen for the 2010 CLA Game Fair. It is a wonderful site and I am certain it will attract thousands of visitors to this unique event in our region."
I am stewarding the food hall where we have over 150 food exhibitors showing and selling a whole range of products from Cheese to fruit juices, sausages to cakes, rape seed oil to caviar, the range is simply stunning. I, for one, cant wait to get involved.
But perhaps the last word on the fair should go to David who says that the show is quite simply a celebration of the countryside.
The CLA Game Fair runs from Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th July.
To purchase advance tickets phone 0844 848 0990 or buy them on the day at The Game Fair entrance. www.gamefair.co.uk