Thousands log on to Edinburgh’s Royal Highland Show behind closed doors

More than 20,000 people logged on to watch live streaming of the opening of the Royal Highland Show which is being held behind closed doors this year.

The Royal Highland Showcase – as it is being called this year – got under way at Ingliston earlier.

Farmers are showing their livestock, but with the event being streamed online to people around the world.

In normal times, up to 190,000 people would visit the agricultural show over the week. It runs online until Sunday.

Bill Gray, chairman of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, said although members of the public would not be allowed in this year, farmers would still be showing their animals online.

Martin Kennedy, president of the National Farmers Union Scotland, said the event was important for the farming community.

The live streaming is free and will show the best of food, farming and rural life with livestock judging, equestrian, food and drink and rural skills.

There will be show jumping, sheep sheering and forestry work.

There will also be cheese, dairy and ice-cream competitions and chef demonstrations.

A one-tonne wicker Beltie bull, hand-sculpted in Dumfries and Galloway, is the centrepiece of the Royal Highland Showcase.

The well-known underpass where livestock is led in and out of the Ingliston showground arena, has been painted with a huge mural of farm animals, horses, wildlife and scenes from Scotland.

Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid restrictions. Tickets are currently being sold for next year’s event.