Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Record turnout for Highland Show

Horse at the Royal Highland Show (Pic: Laura Thurso)
Image caption The event showcases the best of farming, food and the countryside

Sunny weather helped the Royal Highland Show achieve its highest turnout on record, organisers have said.

The agriculture event in Ingliston, near Edinburgh Airport, marked its 50th year at the site and the 170th year of the show.

A total of 187,644 people flocked to the four-day event, which saw judging for animals, arts and food and which ended on Sunday.

The 2009 record of 176,522 visitors was beaten by more than 11,000.

The show also welcomed more visitors on each day compared with 2009.

Saturday had an "all-time daily high" of 57,754 visitors, up from last year's 51,307.

'Shaping change'

Royal Highland Show manager, David Dunsmuir, said: "We are absolutely thrilled with these figures.

"Although the fine weather and a focused publicity campaign were obvious influences, there is more to it than that.

"Our core aim is to showcase the farming and food industry and, by combining that with an associated programme of entertainment and activity, we have a formula that is obviously appealing to both our specialist audience and the general public."

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead, who attended the event, said: "This has undoubtedly been one of the most successful Royal Highland Shows of all time.

"The food and farming sectors appear to be weathering the recession better than many other industries and there has been a real feel-good factor this year.

"The visits from the EU Agriculture Commissioner and chairman of the European Parliament's agricultural committee speak volumes for Scotland's reputation as a land of food and drink.

"It proves beyond doubt that we are driving forward the debate on Common Agricultural Policy and influencing and shaping change."

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