Fair weather draws out record crowd

Glorious sunshine and the lure of a great family day out attracted record-breaking crowds for a two-day extravaganza of all things countryside.Thousands packed out the Royal Norfolk Showground near Norwich for a weekend of wildlife, sports and craftsmanship at the annual East Anglian Game and Country Fair - with early signs indicating it was the best year yet.

Glorious sunshine and the lure of a great family day out attracted record-breaking crowds for a two-day extravaganza of all things countryside.

Thousands packed out the Royal Norfolk Showground near Norwich for a weekend of wildlife, sports and craftsmanship at the annual East Anglian Game and Country Fair - with early signs indicating it was the best year yet.

The range of activities on offers increases each year, too, with plenty to entertain across the vast, open air site.

Traditional rural skills such as sheep-shearing, gun dog displays, falconry, clay pigeon shooting and horse logging were just a few of the popular events, along with the opportunity to get up close and personal with pets and wildlife.

Quirky dancing dogs as seen on Crufts, parachutists and geese flying in formation with a microlight kept everyone amazed, along with a wacky pigeon versus greyhound race and ferret racing.

And as if that wasn't enough, children never tired of the climbing walls, trampolines and slides.

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Andy Grand, who organises the show with his wife, Tracey, said: “It was definitely the busiest year that we've ever had; we haven't got final numbers just yet but we can say that attendance was up 18pc on the year before and we've had some very positive feedback.

“We had a lot of new areas - with animals there were the alpacas and the otters, including a six-month-old.

“They were very popular, there was always a huge crowd around there, the children really, really loved it.

“Everywhere you went, it was heaving, and there was a real family atmosphere and as if it is the start of people really enjoying their summer holidays.

“The people on the gates had great feedback, with lots of people saying what a brilliant time they had and that they will definitely come back next year and that it was great value for money.

“Some who came along on the Saturday said it was so good that they would come back the next day.”

The East Anglian Game and Country Fair is due to return to the showground on April 26 and 27, 2008.