TWO more major farming and rural events have fallen victim to the coronavirus crisis.

The Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) confirmed that the 2020 Royal Highland Show would not go ahead as planned at the end of June due to restrictions brought on by the outbreak.

And the Yorkshire Agricultural Society (YAS) announced that its Springtime Live event later this month had been cancelled, though it said it was still planning to hold the Great Yorkshire Show in July, subject to the latest advice.

This comes on the same day that the NBA said its Beef Expo at Darlington would be postponed from May 28 to later in the year.

The decision on the Royal Highland Show by RHASS directors, who met virtually earlier today, is in line with the Scottish and UK Government’s policy and guidance on gatherings and social distancing.

RHASS chairman Bill Gray said: “It is with deep regret and huge personal disappointment that I confirm the cancellation of the 2020 Royal Highland Show. The Show is Scotland’s largest outdoor event, attracting up to 200,000 people each year and is the premier showcase for the food, farming and rural industry. Plans for the 180th Show are at an advanced stage but given recent and ongoing developments, the directors and I have taken the only course of action open to us.

“Thankfully, the sector is nothing but resilient and while this will no doubt test us, I am confident that some good will come from what is a bleak and worrying time for us all. To that end, we are calling on the industry and wider partners to work with us to support each other to ensure we weather the storm.”

RHASS chief executive Alan Laidlaw said: “It would be naïve to underestimate the massive impact the cancellation will have on the charity, but with the industry’s support, I have little doubt that we can, and we will, get through this.

"Personally, I am saddened that despite our best intentions, we are not able to stage this year’s event as we had some exciting developments planned; but in these unprecedented times we must focus on the wider issue, support the vulnerable in our communities and ensure that Scottish Agriculture plays its essential part in achieving this.”

RHASS confirmed that exhibitors and sponsors will be communicated with over the coming weeks as resources allow and ticket holders should contact the RHS’ ticketing partner, Ticketmaster for a full refund.

Mr Laidlaw said: “On behalf of RHASS directors, I would like to thank members, exhibitors and sponsors who have contacted us with offers and expressions of support. There are tough financial times ahead for RHASS, but over time and with the backing of our members and sector partners, we will recover.”

Meanwhile the YAS announced that Springtime Live had been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, saying organisers continue to follow Government advice which has led to the sad decision to cancel the event, due to be held on Saturday, March 28.

All ticket holders will be contacted, and they will be automatically refunded.

Nigel Pulling, YAS chief executive, said: “We would like to reassure our visitors that every step is being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The safety of our staff and visitors is paramount and with the latest Government advice regarding Coronavirus, we have taken the decision to cancel Springtime Live. Everyone who bought tickets will be refunded – please can I ask you to bear with us as we process this.

“We continue to follow the Government’s advice, please keep an eye on our websites for details and we thank you for your continued support and loyalty through these difficult times.”

Currently, the plan is to hold the Great Yorkshire Show on Tuesday, July 14, to Thursday, July 16, and tickets will go on sale nearer the time, subject to the latest advice.