BORIS Johnson’s proposed end of lockdown June 21, falls right in the middle of the height of the agricultural show calendar, meaning many shows will be affected by this week’s news.
Despite all the uncertainty of the pandemic, towards the end of last year Cheshire Agricultural Society had set out plans to spread its usual two-day show over three days to help ease the concentration of visitor numbers. They set the date of June 21-23 however recent announcements have cast doubt on its viability so close to the potential lift of restrictions.
The society’s executive director, Rob Davenport, said: “If the lift of lockdown was a month earlier we could be a lot more certain. However the Cheshire Agricultural Society is still hopeful of holding events throughout the summer period - restrictions permitting - to help educate people about the great and the good of the rural and agricultural industries.”
The flexibility of the definite end of restrictions meant the security of shows later in the season were also still in doubt and the Great Yorkshire Show, which is traditionally held over three days in the second week of July, was among those still in limbo.
Nigel Pulling, Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society which organises the Great Yorkshire Show, said: “We continue to monitor the latest government rules on events and await further announcements with keen interest.
“We are keeping an open mind about arrangements for the Great Yorkshire Show this year and we will continue to explore our options.”
With plans for Scotland still appearing more conservative than those in England, it is unclear how Scottish shows will deal with the uncertainty.
Mark Currie, director of operations for the Royal Highland Show recently (Feb 8) told Farmers Guardian he remained positive about the show’s prospects and continued planning to go ahead. Get the full story here.
Keep up to date with all changes to the ag shows calendar here.