IT’S the biggest celebration of the contribution that farmers in the Royal County make to the economy and now, thanks to the coronavirus, it’s off.
The Berkshire Show had been booked for September 19 and 20, at its usual home of the Newbury Showground, but organisers have announced that it will not be held this year.
A statement on its website said: “With great regret, after careful consideration and due diligence, our Board of Trustees and Society Leadership have taken the decision to cancel The Royal County of Berkshire Show 2020.
“This decision was a difficult one and made with a heavy heart, but a decision made for all the right reasons.”
It said that by taking the action now, it would help mitigate the commercial risks with show preparations and ease the pressures of members, volunteers, contractors and supply chains.
“We are acutely aware of the impact of every decision made in our operating environment and the challenges faced across our industry for shows countrywide – we’re mindful of our responsibility and duty of care to one another,” it added.
And the decision has been supported by the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in Berkshire and across the region.
The group’s regional director, Michael Valenzia, said: “The Berkshire County Show is a flagship event in the agricultural calendar and to hear that it won’t go ahead in September as planned is sad to hear, but entirely understandable given the current national situation with the coronavirus outbreak. The health and safety of everyone involved must come first.
“Many rural businesses rely on the show as an opportunity to demonstrate their fantastic products and services to thousands of people in the region.
“The CLA is supporting its members, who are a range of farmers, landowners and rural businesses, through this difficult time with the latest advice and information regarding coronavirus. We are also holding regular calls with government officials and lobbying on issues the industry needs to be reviewed to support them through these uncertain times.
“The rural sector is exceptionally resilient however, having faced more than its share of adversity in the past. I have every confidence the Berkshire County Show will bounce back and we can’t wait to be part of it once again.”