Why vegetarians should be hunting is among the questions being addressed in a fascinating schedule of lively discussions, TV–style chat shows and political debates on the hot countryside topics of the day lined up for the Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre this summer.
Supported for the third consecutive year by property partnership Carter Jonas, the theatre will be buzzing from dawn to dusk when The Game Fair returns for the second time to the magnificent setting of Hatfield House in Hertfordshire from 26 to 28 July.
With political heavyweights, countryside celebrities and sporting superstars on various panels each day, and the opportunity for members of the audience to get involved, it is a unique opportunity for the community to get together and chew the cud.
Charlie Jacoby, the dynamic Fieldsports Channel presenter who will be compèring all three days, said: “The Carter Jonas Theatre will be addressing the countryside issues of the day, but it won’t be an echo chamber. That would be dull. I want to there to be proper debate, something that The Game Fair has always been known for.”
Jacoby himself will attempt to discover why the hunting and vegetarian communities are so far apart in an interesting debate from 3-3.30pm on the final day. “Shouldn’t vegetarians and the climate change movement be hunting?” asks Jacoby. “If you think about it, farming and shooting go hand-hand in hand and so do farming and vegetarianism. So, I’ve always been curious about the enmity between hunters and vegetarians. In many ways they share a similar philosophy about the environment, sustainable farming and the raising of animals. The animosity between the two communities is something I’d like to explore in more detail.”
Natural England’s controversial decision to revoke three general licences for controlling certain wild birds and the subsequent reaction of the farming and shooting community will be discussed in depth, as will the forthcoming grouse moor management report in Scotland.
A keynote debate will run each day from 10am to 11am, kickstarted by hen harriers on the Friday, social media on Saturday and re-wilding on Sunday morning. Among the other topics to be discussed are the merits of farmed salmon and pheasant shooting; whether Britain’s deer are vermin or a national asset; and the case for and against country sports.
Former TV presenter Robin Page will be invited to give his take on what’s wrong with the modern countryside, while Countryside Alliance chief executive Tim Bonner and animal welfare consultant Jim Barrington are also among the speakers.
On a more light-hearted note, Theatre sponsor and property consultancy Carter Jonas will be explaining how it would maximise the value of the 100-acre wood in the world of Winnie the Pooh.
Commenting on his firm’s continued involvement, Tim Jones, head of rural at Carter Jonas, said: “Carter Jonas is delighted to be returning to The Game Fair for 2019. Amongst many other attractions, the Carter Jonas Game Fair Theatre provides an ideal platform for debate and conversation on the most pressing matters facing the industry. We are looking forward to this year’s event at Hatfield House, and to discussing the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”