RECORD crowds turned out in the sunshine at this year’s Highclere Country Fair – and plenty of people tried their hand at countryside pursuits.

Dog shows, clay shooting and birds of prey were among the highlights at this year’s show, which was held in the beautiful grounds at Highclere Castle, in Highclere, and pulled in a record 21,400 visitors.

People of all ages queued to have a go on the air rifle range and about 1,000 residents entered their dogs for various events and had a go at working their pet.

Clare Harford, marketing manager for Countryman Fairs, which puts on four country fairs across the country every year, said: “We had an absolutely fantastic weekend. It’s beaten all the event records and the weather was glorious.

“The first sunny year we had was in 2005, when we had 18,000 people, but that figure has tailed off over the last three years because of horrendous weather, so this weekend was just amazing!”

She added: “There were a lot of family visitors and they were all very country-fied and into countryside activities. Lots of people were having a go learning about working their dogs and there were queues all day of kids wanting to have a go at using airguns and air rifles.

“Our main aim for these fairs is always to bring the countryside to life and to show people what countryside sports and activities are all about, as well as showing children and adults about things like land management and conservation.”