Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Royal Highland Show is back: we find out what’s new for 2022

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The chairman and manager of the cooking theater tell us about this year’s presentation

At this year’s Royal Highland Show, which runs from Thursday 23rd June to Sunday 26th June, there must be a few coos and horses whose great-great-great-grandparents turned up at the first of these annual events.

That’s because, incredibly, it’s the show’s 200th anniversary and the first full post-lockdown production since 2019.

To celebrate, there are some exciting new additions to this rural showcase, this year themed ‘Scotland’s Natural Capital – Highlands and Islands’. These include an upgraded food hall experience, Scotland’s Larder, which will feature author Ghillie Basan and Bad Girl Bakery. We spoke to organizers about the 2022 offerings and what it’s like to be back in the saddle.

Bill Gray, Chairman of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland

What was it like pausing RHS?

The prevailing feeling was loss. It robbed everyone of the opportunity to make the annual pilgrimage to reconnect with friends as they had done for generations. It not only affected our show but, just as importantly, all the local shows across the country that do so much for the rural communities. Mental health from isolation has suffered tremendously from the pandemic and these events provide vital pressure relief for so many. It will be fantastic to welcome everyone back to Ingliston.

Was there an opportunity to reconsider something?

In 2021 we embarked on the Royal Highland Showcase. This was probably the most ambitious project undertaken by the Society with generous support from the Scottish Government when we decided to hold an event behind closed doors and livestream it to the world. People from over 100 countries signed up to watch 450 hours of competitions and content. It put Scottish agriculture on the world map and thereby improved the status of society.

Were there any other significant changes?

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