THE Great Yorkshire Show announced it was set to go ahead as planned this year but the Prime Minister’s roadmap still casts doubt over the fate of many other agricultural shows.
Due to host its 162nd Great Yorkshire show this year the Yorkshire Agricultural Society has shared its plans to hold the event in July as usual after cancelling completely last year for the first time since the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001.
Charles Mills, Honorary Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show said: “Following the publication of the Government’s roadmap we are pleased to confirm that we are planning to hold the Great Yorkshire Show on 13-15 July 2021.”
He said the circumstances would be reviewed regularly and the show would only go ahead if it was safe to do so for all concerned.
However the dates highlighted in Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown did not fall favourably for all and those shows due to be held prior to June 21 have tough decisions to make, not least of all the organisers of the Royal Cheshire Show.
Despite all the uncertainty of the pandemic, towards the end of last year the 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 last Monday’s (Feb 22) 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 Association of show and agricultural organisations’ secretary, Paul Hooper said it was hard to predict how the show season would unfold as there was no consistency in the way each of the devolved nations was handling the situation.
He said: “We are trying to get as much confirmed, defined information as we can as quickly as we can which will then be disseminated to the ag shows as soon as we get it. But at the moment it is still a waiting game. Everybody is waiting for the detail, and as always the devil is in the detail.”
With plans for Scotland still appearing more conservative than those in England, it is unclear how Scottish shows will deal with the uncertainty. On Feb 02, Mark Currie, director of operations for the Royal Highland Show 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 will all the changes to the ag shows calendar here