There’s little you can do when this sort of weather’s set against you.
The organisers of the CLA Game Fair are certainly in our thoughts today. I know just how hard they’ve worked in the past few weeks to make the Harewood Estate site suitable for the show after the prolonged drenching we’ve received this summer. So when the heavens opened once more with feeling over the weekend, their hearts must have sunk lower than the saturated ground they were squelching around in.
It’s a devastating decision they’ve been forced to take.
Devastating for the fieldsports fans who rely on the CLA Game Fair to keep the spirit of their community alive.
Devastating for the exhibitors for whom the show is the highlight of a busy show season and a major financial investment.
Devastating for the local community, the hotels, the pubs, the shops, for whom the influx of visitors means welcome business. Business they prepare for many months in advance.
The impact of the decision is enormous and only becomes apparent once you start thinking of the repercussions. Take an example that’s very close to home. My parents have for many years had a stand at the CLA Game Fair selling their traditional handmade furniture. Theirs is a rural business without a showroom in a busy town centre. The Game Fair is their shop window. The cancellation means the loss of tens of thousands of pounds of revenue taken in business done at the show and generated afterwards.
The situation’s the same wherever you look. The major organisations such as BASC and the Countryside Alliance invest heavily to sell their message and to promote fieldsports. For them it’s a celebration, a fund-raiser and a political rally all rolled into one. To have that wrenched away at the last minute leaves a big gap in their year’s activities.
It’s heart-breaking to think that all the time and energy so many people spend in preparation for what is the highlight of the summer calendar can be washed away like this.
In the fieldsports world, it’s like cancelling Christmas.
But I have a question: if the Glastonbury Festival, an event that attracts similar numbers to the CLA Game Fair, was cancelled under indentical circumstances it would make front page news. Will the same be true of a fieldsports festival I wonder?
Take a look HERE for a sporting alternative.