Visit the Kent County Show and the CLA Game Fair
PUBLISHED: 10:06 06 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:06 06 July 2014
Running a rural business is fulfilling but demanding too, that's why July is a great month to kick back a little and celebrate all that's already been achieved in 2014
Celebrating the countryside is high on my agenda in July. Running a rural business is very fulfilling and I take enormous pleasure in living in the Kent landscape.
It can also be extremely demanding, with challenges to overcome including extreme weather, unreliable broadband, extensive red tape and the impact of animal and plant pests and diseases.
It is important for those living and working in rural areas to get together and celebrate all that is good about the Kent countryside. From 11 to 13 July, the CLA Country and Game Area at the Kent County Show will be filled with interesting stands and entertainment, from sheep shows and hound pens to ferret racing.
The Kent County Show is a fantastic showcase for the county’s farming, countryside and rural life as well as a very enjoyable event (see also page 106).
The following weekend (18 to 20 July), hundreds of people who live and work in rural Kent will gather at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire for the biggest event in the countryside calendar, the CLA Game Fair.
The theme this year is The Celebration of the Great British Countryside. More than 150,000 people are expected to attend to see the best that the British sporting and rural communities have to offer, to meet up with friends from across the UK and abroad, to do business and have fun.
There is much to celebrate about rural Kent. Food and drink produced in the Garden of England has long been renowned for its quality and variety.
From apples, pears and cherries to Whitstable oysters and Dover sole – not forgetting local wines and beers – Kent brings to market some of the finest goods in the country, thanks to the skill and experience of our farmers and producers.
The strength of Kent’s food and drink sector not only provides thousands of jobs throughout the county, it also helps support our thriving tourist industry.
Many holidaymakers and day trippers are attracted by Kent’s diverse countryside, with visitors coming to see our dramatic chalkland, secluded valleys, ancient woodlands and traditional orchards.
The produce of Kent farming and agriculture are also major draws for trips to the coast to try seafood specialities, holidays based around tours of orchards and vineyards, visits to the county’s fantastic Farmers’ Markets and active breaks exploring our rights of way.
Alongside the traditional strengths of our county’s rural economy, there are countless demonstrations of innovation and development to make sure that we are the leaders of tomorrow.
We have a world-leading horticultural research facility in East Malling, which has shaped the way produce is grown and supplied across the globe.
And I am impressed by the creativity and entrepreneurship I see throughout the Kent countryside. Businesses are constantly responding to adversity by finding new ways to thrive and some fantastic start-up firms have been launched and are making their mark on the rural business scene.
Like many people living and working in rural Kent, I am proud of our county’s countryside communities. Businesses often work together to support each other and the wider community.
Farmers and landowners care for the beautiful Kent landscape and for its wildlife, and keep the countryside safe and accessible for visitors.
Reminding ourselves and others about all of the reasons why the Kent countryside flourishes is valuable, and I look forward to doing just that at both the Kent County Show and the CLA Game Fair over the coming weeks. n