In the two and a half years that I have lived in Edinburgh, my only experience of the Show to date was queuing in traffic outside Ingliston on the way in or out of the city. This year, however, as the Royal Highland Show opened its gates for the 179th time, I attended the Show for the first time as a soon to be NQ Solicitor in Morton Fraser's Agricultural and Rural Property team.
I was not sure what to expect walking through the East gates early Friday morning with James Rust and Linsey Barclay-Smith, two seasoned show attendees. However, I was excited at the prospect of spending the day exploring the Show, and a coffee and bacon roll were enough to settle any nerves I may have had!
Our first stop of the day was at the Scottish Beekeepers' Association’s Honey Tent, an organisation that Morton Fraser has proudly sponsored for many years. The Honey Tent was a true hive of activity (even early in the morning), with visitors of all ages swarming around the tent, interested in learning more about bees and how they help our environment. They saw over 10,000 visitors each day of the Show, which I think you will agree is an incredible number of people!
It wasn't only the bees that caught my eye, as sitting ring-side with a cup of tea, I also got to watch the very best cattle, sheep, horses and ponies in show. Between you and me, this was what I was looking forward to the most when I was asked if I wanted to attend the Show! Well, that, and all of the dogs that I got to make friends with throughout the day.
And if all of this was not enough, I also got the opportunity to try and taste an exceptional range of Scottish produce and drink, from the bacon roll that kicked off my day, to the (sensibly consumed) gin and whisky tasters, and even seaweed crisps from Shetland.
Whilst the Royal Highland Show is a fantastic day out to be enjoyed with friends and family, it also serves a practical purpose for our team. It is an opportunity to keep up-to-date with the industry’s latest technologies and developments, and to gain an insight into what challenges and opportunities our rural clients’ businesses are facing.
We spent the rest of the day visiting various stands, meeting and talking with clients, contacts and contemporaries who operate across the many varied areas of the agricultural sector. I had the pleasure of meeting other legal professionals, land agents and surveyors with whom I have worked alongside in various transactions and the Show provided a valuable opportunity to be able to finally put faces to names that up until that point had only been on the other end of an email exchange or a telephone call.
I very much enjoyed my first Royal Highland Show and look forward to next year's outing, which I am sure will be an even more rewarding experience, once I have gained more experience in the Agricultural and Rural sector as an NQ solicitor in the team.