Nearly 100,000 people flocked to the Midland Game & Country Fair at a stately home on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border over the weekend to enjoy the sunshine while taking in traditional country sports and pastimes.
Weston Park, near Shifnal, was packed with traders, exhibitors, visitors and competitors as the country’s largest game and country fair returned for a two-day extravaganza on Saturday and yesterday.
The fair, celebrating its 30th year, saw the country’s top shooters and dog handlers return to the event to show the countryside at its best.
Some 90,000-plus visitors descended on the event, which sees agricultural and farming businesses trade alongside a number of charities.
- Scroll down for video from the fair
The event is the culmination of a year’s worth of competitions and shows, with the biggest and best saved for Weston Park, where the finals take place.
Countryman Fairs press officer, Danielle Derry, said: “The weather has been very good and people have been coming in very steadily. We didn’t even have rain before the event so there was no danger of the ground being soggy for the exhibitors.
“Considering the financial climate plenty of money is still being spent on the stalls.
“We’ve received a lot of interest this year and we’ve seen a lot of new traders show interest.
“This is the biggest show of its kind in the country so a lot of people turn up. We also hold more competitions here than at any other game show.
“There are four other events held throughout the year – at Kelmarsh, Highclere, Sussex and Lowther – which work as qualifiers for this weekend’s competitions, with the finals being held at Weston Park. The five events form the Countryman Fairs.
“There are some big prizes on offer, particularly for the clay pigeon shooting and gun dog events.” Traders, who enjoyed the good weather and a steady footfall, took the opportunity to promote their businesses and charities.
Maureen Leavy, souvenir secretary of the Telford branch of the RNLI, said: “We did very well as we do here every year. We have been coming here since the early 1980s. The number of people here seems to be about the same. We like coming here otherwise we wouldn’t keep rebooking.
“We usually raise between £500 and £600.” Tony Reed, owner of WBH Kennel Mate, based in Cannock, said: “It’s gone really well. We sell equipment for gun dog events.
“We’re happy to see the good weather. We travel to events all over the country but this is always a very important event.
“We’ve been coming here more than 30 years.”
Baz Hoare, sales executive at Furrows commercial vehicles, said:“We’re here to promote the new Ford Ranger. We’ve been coming here for the last five years because this is where our target market is.
“Right from the first morning we could see there was good footfall coming in.
“Some of the other shows have suffered this year because of the weather but the forecast has been good for this weekend.
“We’ve talked to people who have come from all over the place.”