AS the Forestry Journal team made its way down to Warwickshire last week for the Game Fair, expectations were high that the weekend – Saturday and Sunday at least – would see a deluge. 

Forecasts up to that point had been quite clear about the high probability of thunderstorms rolling in and turning Ragley Estate to soup. Wellies had been duly packed for that eventuality. 

As it turned out, however, there was no need for concern. While the second and third days of the Game Fair were cloudier than the first – and, mercifully, a little cooler – the weather stayed dry and putting all exhibitors we spoke to in a very positive (and relieved) mood. 

On the Fuelwood stand there was excitement about finally being able to bang the drum about the Uniforest range of winches and processors. 

Fuelwood took the brand on around 18 months ago, adding to the extensive list of well-regarded brands for which it is a dealer, including Japa, Heizohack, GROS, FTG-Mowi, FTG-Moheda, Plaisance, AMR and more. 

For site clearance and biomass specialist Kingwell Holdings, this year marked its first appearance at the Game Fair, with a stand primed to impress with its top-of-the-line mulching technology. 

An AHWI RT400 mulcher sat alongside a new addition to the fleet – a Valtra T252 tractor and Jenz HEM 560 chipper – and across from an eye-catching custom-built Hyundia HS260 with VTN W1100 tree shear in hot pink. 

Brought down from Kingwell’s Scottish operation was a custom-built 450 hp low-ground-pressure power pack.  

A short walk from Kingwell was the stand of forest road repair specialist MP & KM Golding, which caught the attention of attendees by bringing along a 2.8-tonne Wacker Neuson excavator with Steelwrist attachment and Wacker Neuson dumper.  

A few stands along, tree shear specialist NCD Equipment showcased equipment from TMK, Augertorque and Rabaud as well Mecalac excavators, for which it recently became a dealer. 

NCD is now responsible for retailing Mecalac’s acclaimed MWR, MCR and 15MC range of excavators across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. 

Founder and managing director Nick Dinsdale said: “It’s nice to reconnect with existing customers and have some new ones come on the stand. The good thing about the Game Fair is it’s quite a broad mix of people who attend. A lot of agricultural and other industries as well as forestry, which works for us quite well.” 

READ MORE: The Game Fair 2021 show report: part 1

Machinery dealer and rotor shaft balancing specialist Joe Turner Equipment’s stand also proved worth a visit, with a range of forest attachments for tractors and excavators including Lipa forest head shredders, Agriforest grabs and Bomford Buccaneer forestry mowers. 

Not many exhibitors in the Land and Estates section were able to show their machines working, but among those who were was Avant.  

Its compact, fully electric loader, the E6, was shown working with a range of attachments, as was the Leguan spider lift which Avant recently introduced to the UK from Finland. There are five Leguan models ­– 125, 135, 165 and 190 – with maximum working heights ranging from 12.5 to 19 metres with maximum outreach from 6.3 to 9.8 metres. 

Also attracting healthy crowds with regular demonstrations was Price Turfcare, showing off the Ventrac 4500T all-terrain tractor and its various attachments. 

Described as the ‘estate manager’s Swiss Army knife’, the American-made tractor is fit for lifting logs, mowing, stump grinding and much more, with the ability to handle slopes of up to 30 degrees making it suitable for some hillier estates. 

The Ventrac was just one of numerous tractors on display at the show from brands including John Deere, Kubota, Mitsubishi, Iseki and Farmtrac, debuting the FT25G, the industry’s first fully electric tractor. 

The FT25G was far from the only electric vehicle to capture the attention of crowds at the show. Marc Monsarrat was kept busy on the Eco Charger electric quads with questions from attendees interested to learn more about the lithium battery-powered Dominator and Pure quadbikes. 

Other quads and ATVs were on display from Suzuki, TH White, John Deere (running an ATV demo track) and Polaris, sharing a stand with gunmaker E.J. Churchill. Among the range on display were the popular Ranger Diesel UTV and the Sportsman 570, its next-generation ATV model for 2021. 

Off-road enthusiasts had other reasons to visit the show – not least the new Isuzu D-Max which could be taken for a test drive on-site. Also attracting a lot of attention was a prototype of the Ineos Grenadier, a rugged, utilitarian 4x4 which is yet to have its official launch. 

For anyone with an interest in forestry and who had never attended the Game Fair before, the event made for quite an experience. 

For further coverage and interviews with exhibitors, check out the Forestry Journal Facebook page and look out for our full report in the August issue. 

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