THE Duke of Marlborough has said next weekend’s CLA Game Fair will be “wonderful”.

About 140,000 people are expected to attend the fair, which will feature exhibitions and displays of countryside activities.

The Duke hosts the event, which will take place on July 22 to 24, at his home, Blenheim Palace in Woodstock.

He told the Oxford Mail: “There is such a variety going on at the Game Fair that one is always attracted by something that is taking place.

“It draws the attention to Blenheim of a lot of people who might not be coming to this part of England any more.

“It is also an activity that fits in well with a country estate and my feelings towards countryside sports and activities.

“I think these activities are an integral part of the English countryside – hunting, fishing and shooting.”

Asked what he was particularly looking forward to, he said: “I find it all interesting.”

He added: “It will be a wonderful three days, but I hope the weather will be kind.”

The Game Fair caused traffic chaos across Oxfordshire when it was last held here, in 2008, but organisers have taken steps to stop the problems this year, including mobilising the police helicopter, extra car parks and changes to road markings.

The fair has also paid for free access over Swinford Toll Bridge, near Eynsham, for the three days.

One of the roads at the fair contains high-end London retailers and has been dubbed ‘Bond Street’.

The Duke of Marlborough’s son, Lord Blandford, said he was relishing the prospect of the fair. He said: “I am looking forward to a repeat performance of 2008, where we had record-beating crowds, and to everyone having a great time at a great family day out.

“I love the fishing and the clay (pigeon) shooting, but I also love the Bond Street shopping in the country.”Lord Blandford added: “I am also looking forward to my son (the Earl of Sunderland) taking part in the polo.”

The Game Fair generated £13m for Oxfordshire’s economy in 2008, a Bournemouth University study found.

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