Scottish Game Fair makes a welcome return at Scone

The countryside has seen many of the major milestone events of the year cancelled, but the decision by the organisers of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Scottish Game Fair to postpone rather than cancel appears to have paid off.

The GWCT Scottish Game Fair.
The GWCT Scottish Game Fair.

With the dropping of restrictions in numbers at gatherings, the event - which takes place at Scone Palace from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 September rather than the usual early July slot - looks set to attract capacity crowds, with more than 30,000 expected through the gates over the course of the three-day run.

“Now in its 33rd year, the weekend is a true celebration of conservation and the countryside, while raising vital funds for wildlife conservation science,” said James Gower, managing director of the events organisation which runs the English Game Fair and which has this year also entered into a partnership with the GWCT to run the Scottish game fair.

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The new arrangement, which will see the event run under licence, will guarantee a set income for the conservation charity and help secure the long-term future of the much-loved three-day event.

But while the game fair might be under new management, Gower promised that the well-loved recipe of country sports competitions, food with a focus on the game larder and shopping would continue as before – while those with stands and those camping at the event would benefit from improvements in the facilities and infrastructure at the venue.

And revealing that ticket sales were 67 per cent ahead of the same time at the last event, he said that there was a real hunger among country dwellers and the sporting fraternity for a real get-together.

Rory Kennedy, GWCT Scotland director, agreed that the mood music around the event had been astonishing and a significant attendance from members and stakeholders was anticipated.

“After a gap year The GWCT Scottish Game Fair will provide a vital platform for networking, doing business and aiding important debate.

“As usual The GWCT will be there in force with informative and educational content and we look forward to welcoming familiar faces and new friends in September.

"All of this activity contributes to the vital fundraising and research carried out by The GWCT.”

Gower added that the new partnership demonstrated commitment to the sector by supporting one of the most important countryside charities.

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“The Scottish Game Fair plays a hugely important role in providing funds for the GWCT and this exciting new arrangement with the Trust means that we can add our expertise to making this event a continuing success both this year and in the future.”

With NFU Mutual secured as the headline sponsor of the event, Mark McBrearty, NFU Mutual Regional Manager in Scotland, said: “This event is our opportunity to connect with the rural community face-to-face, catch up with customers and provide a relaxed and safe environment for people after what has been a very tough and long year.”

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