THREE MAJOR agricultural events in England's South West – the Devon County Show, the Royal Bath and West Show and the Royal Cornwall Show – have been postponed due to the increased threat of the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

In a joint statement, the shows' directors highlighted government guidance that the virus will still be very active during May and June, and said the 'most responsible action' was to reschedule to protect their visitors, traders and exhibitors.

The boards of each show admitted that this was 'an extremely difficult decision' to make and appreciated the disruption and disappointment the postponements might cause, but said that it had been unanimously agreed that the absolute priority must lie with the protection of public health.

The three shows, all of which were scheduled to take place this Spring, have been reorganised as follows:

  • The Royal Bath and West Show will run July 31, and August 1 and 2;
  • Devon County Show will run August 28, 29 and 30;
  • The Royal Cornwall Show will run September 10, 11 and 12.

The agricultural show sector is represented by the Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations (ASAO) which is monitoring the situation in the hope that the popular show season can be maintained while continuing to recognise the importance of managing public health.

Royal Bath and West chief executive Rupert Cox said: “Obviously we are very disappointed to have to postpone our ever-popular Royal Bath and West Show. We hope that our visitors, traders and exhibitors will understand we are in unprecedented circumstances and that we have a civic responsibility to act with caution.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Show on July 31, August 1 and 2, when we will throw a wonderful party in celebration of Great British farming and rural life. If you can’t make our event, then please support our friends in Devon and Cornwall.”