The organisers of the CLA Game Fair – this year at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire, on July 19-21 – are hoping the annual three-day country-sports extravaganza will help reinvigorate the rural economy, which took such a pasting last year.

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The numerous event cancellations, including the Game Fair at Belvoir, are thought to represent losses totalling £240 million. Game Fair director Andrew Crawford says: ‘We are calling for a massive show of support at all this year’s outdoor shows and predicting very healthy visitor numbers at the Game Fair.’ So far, take-up of the 1,000 or so trade-stand slots has been as normal, which indicates that small businesses have generally survived the recession.

Statistics from 2011 show that some 78% of the 145,000 visitors participate in at least one country sport, 56% shoot and 27% fish. In a drive to attract the horsey sector, Sunday will have a strong equestrian theme. Visit www.gamefair.co.uk.

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