FOLLOWING a long and frustrating period of quiet, the forestry industry's events season resumed this weekend — and in stylish fashion — with the opening of The Game Fair 2021.

Held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, the event opened a few days after the lifting of COVID restrictions and amid sweltering heat on Friday 23 July, finishing on Sunday.

An annual gathering for people passionate about countryside pursuits, it boasts hundreds of exhibitors and activities based around shooting, gamekeeping, fishing, falconry and much more, with forestry well catered for in the land and estates section.

This year, for the first time, Forestry Journal has been hosting the Forestry Journal Pavilion, providing an additional draw for forestry professionals in the absence of any other large shows for the sector this year.

Visitors have had the chance to meet the core editorial team on the stand, access exclusive subscription deals and pick up a free copy, while joining us on the Pavilion have been dealers SB Forestry, Ufkes Greentec UK and Home Forestry.

READ MORE: The Game Fair 2021: We’re ready… are you?

EcoLog has been the star of SB Forestry's stand with a 574D forwarder on display as well as a 590F harvester with Logmax 7000, courtesy of owner John Owen of Top Log Forestry.

Commenting on becoming the EcoLog dealer for the UK, SB Forestry's Scott Burton said: "The numbers on the 590F basically outstrip every other competitor on the market. It's been hidden for a while, but now's the time when people are starting to look at bigger timber and higher volumes of production and with the right material this will do a hundred tonne an hour."

Home Forestry has been showcasing the Alstor 840 Pro mini forwarder and much more. Owner Nathan Home said: "We've always been passionate about coming to the Game Fair. We're very proud to be here with a good stand and a wide range of equipment from Alstor and Rabaud, plus the Workbox, which we produce ourselves."

On Ufkes Greentec UK's stand, Lee Richardson has been keen to highlight the new Cheetah 30 three-and-a-half-tonne road-towable chipper, which has been garnering a lot of interest from visitors. He said: "It’s got a Stage V Kubota diesel engine with 75 horsepower, a fully hydraulic system and full remote control. It’s a promising machine for the UK market.”

Over the course of the show, Forestry Journal's editorial team have been visiting various stands of interest to forestry professionals, gathering comments and sharing pictures and video to social media. However, on Friday afternoon editor John McNee got to take a break from asking the questions, participating in a discussion at the Carter Jonas Theatre.

Alongside Carter Jonas' head of natural capital Mark Russell and head of forestry Marc Leibrecht he was challenged by Fieldsports Channel host Charlie Jacoby to answer the question: 'Carbon offsetting: Is it all bad?'

Much of the discussion revolved around the PR generated by BrewDog's recent investment in forestry to reach 'carbon negativity', the advantages to pursuing and promoting such activity — and the pitfalls.

Look out for more coverage from the Game Fair in part 2 of our show report, as well as ongoing highlights on Forestry Journal's social media channels and in the August issue.

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