Harewood House transformed as CLA Game Fair prepares to open

The scene is set for the CLA Game Fair which opens at Harewood House tomorrow and runs until Sunday.  Pictures: Gary Longbottom (Gl1006/66e)
The scene is set for the CLA Game Fair which opens at Harewood House tomorrow and runs until Sunday. Pictures: Gary Longbottom (Gl1006/66e)
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TOMORROW heralds the opening of the country’s largest annual showcase of countryside field sports at Harewood House, with tens of thousands of visitors expected to descend upon the grounds of the stately home near Leeds despite the wet conditions in the run up to the event.

Visitors to the CLA Game Fair were being advised pull on their Wellington boots, but otherwise the grounds had stood up well to the unseasonal showers.

Philip Fry from 'Simply The Best' who sell driftwood sculptures and garden furniture, putting one of the teak driftwood horse sculptures by artist Abdul Ghofur into position on their stand. (Gl1006/66b)

Philip Fry from 'Simply The Best' who sell driftwood sculptures and garden furniture, putting one of the teak driftwood horse sculptures by artist Abdul Ghofur into position on their stand. (Gl1006/66b)

Tony Wall, the Fair’s director, said: “We had 40 hours of rain from Sunday afternoon through to Tuesday morning but luckily the preparations were well ahead of schedule so we just held the vehicles off the ground as best we could so they didn’t rip it to pieces.

“It’s looking like the forecast is more settled so it’s not going to stop us from going ahead. Our message to visitors is don’t worry about the weather, come along, we have a huge amount of weather contingency in place.

“I would suggest wearing something a little more substantial than flip flops but the ground has stood up well to the conditions.”

He said he was thrilled to be welcoming people to the Fair at Harewood - the first time the three-day event has been held in Yorkshire since 2003.

Charley Thomas (left) and Lucy Jenkins from the Country Land and Business Association with a stag made from foliage at the CLA Game Fair at Harewood House. (Gl1006/66k)

Charley Thomas (left) and Lucy Jenkins from the Country Land and Business Association with a stag made from foliage at the CLA Game Fair at Harewood House. (Gl1006/66k)

“It’s a beautiful estate because it’s hilly and the house sits beautifully well overlooking the site - it’s a lovely venue.”

Among the highlights on the first today of the Fair today are displays by the GB Timbersports squad, a Shetland pony grand national, sheepdog training, parades of hounds and cookery demonstrations.

The amateur round of the CLA’s Game Chef of the Year will get underway and the compatibility of conservation with modern farming techniques will be debated by a panel of industry heavyweights.

For more details and for ticket information, visit www.gamefair.co.uk

Workers putting the finishing touches to a summer house on the Garden Exteriors stand. (Gl1006/66g)

Workers putting the finishing touches to a summer house on the Garden Exteriors stand. (Gl1006/66g)

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