James Martin Chef and television presenter

James Martin
  • You’ve been a supporter of the Game Fair for several years. How did you initially become involved?

    Firstly, through James Gower, we worked together 20 years ago at the boat show and started getting involved with the Game Fair about 6 years ago.

  • What will you be doing at this year’s event?

    Lots of different things. From running the restaurant and cooking with some great ingredients, supporting companies such as Wild & Game, which is a phenomenal business. Allowing people to join us at the restaurant and enjoy the food. Hopefully, I will get to do a bit of clay shooting and attend two gun dog displays, on Friday and Saturday with Jason Mayhew who trains Cooper, my Cocker Spaniel gun dog.

  • This year’s menu features fine, English ingredients like chalk stream trout and red-legged partridge. Can you tell us more about your choices and inspiration?

    Obviously living in Hampshire and the famous river Test and Itchen, which I have access to. I always get to enjoy the great produce from it. I take and use approximately a thousand partridge a year, from Wild & Game, as I believe it to be one of the best types of game to serve to large volumes of people.

  • Game Fair attractions include the theatre, archery, fishing, falconry, and even a Shetland Pony Grand National. When you’re not in The Enclosure, what attractions are you hoping to see?

    The bar hopefully... I love some of the galleries and sculptures on display and the antique section is quite fun. There is always something for everyone. However, the restaurant does keep you busy until about 3 - 3:30pm.

Michael Morpurgo Award-winning author

Michael Morpurgo
  • We hear that you have been working on a newly illustrated edition of your novel War Horse, with illustrator Christian Birmingham. How has the process been and how have you felt looking back over the novel 40 years later.

    I’ve been working with Christian on many books over the last 30 years or so. I know and admire him and his work hugely. So it was a natural pairing to come together over this extraordinary edition of War Horse to celebrate the book’s 40th anniversary. As usual I have been enchanted by his work, so full of atmosphere and detail.

  • What is your involvement with this year’s Game Fair and how did it come about?

    It was decided to launch the book at the Game Fair. I was delighted, because there will be so many there who live and work in the countryside, many with horses, and know it all so well. They will know something of the times and the place in which the story of War Horse is set. Some will have read the book, or seen the National Theatre play, or the Steven Spielberg film.

  • You’ve introduced more than 100,000 children to a farm environment through your charity, Farms for City Children. Why is this mission so important to you?

    Farms for City Children is the charity my wife Clare and I began nearly 50 years ago now. We were teachers and realised that many children, especially those in our cities, knew little or nothing of the countryside or where their food is grown. Clare and I believe deeply that to have a close connection to nature and the countryside should be an essential part of our growing up.

    On the charity’s three farms, the children become farmers for a week, learn that the farm and the animals come first, learn to work together, alongside real farmers who earn their living from the land. They do everything on the farm within the bounds of safety. It is the experience of their lifetime and they do not forget.

    I meet them often years later, these children, now with their own children and even grandchildren. For them that week on the farm long ago, opened eyes, and ears and hearts. It’s a treasured memory.

  • Game Fair attractions include the theatre, archery, fishing, falconry, and even a Shetland Pony Grand National. What are you looking forward to most?

    I’m looking forward to the falconry most. I’m fascinated by that relationship between the birds and ourselves. Looking forward to meeting folk, and talking about War Horse, and about Farms for City Children. I’m on a mission to raise money for the charity at the Fair, because we need to be able to welcome those children to the farms who can least afford it. So, help us if you can, and I’m sure you will.

Jeremy Wade Biologist and television presenter

Jeremy Wade
  • What is your involvement with this year’s Game Fair and how did it come about?

    As a rule, my filming schedule means I don’t go to many shows, but in 2019 I managed to visit the Game Fair for the first time, at Hatfield House. And although I’m mainly known as an (extremely) coarse angler, I found no shortage of people wanting to talk to me. So, when dates looked set to align this year, I jumped at the chance. The addition of more general angling into the mix this time round was also a factor.

  • Are you working on any new TV shows or books at the moment?

    There are a couple of TV projects in development, as they say. There’s an internet rumour that we stopped doing River Monsters because we’d run out of fish, which is pretty much true. But there are other stories out there. Meanwhile there’s a book idea in the works, which I might be able to say more about another day.

  • You’ve fished all over the world, but can you tell us what you appreciate about fishing in the British countryside?

    I’ve fished a lot in the tropics, and unrelenting heat can get a bit much. So, one thing I appreciate here is the turning of the seasons. I also enjoy the chance of getting to know a water over time, in contrast to the quick smash-and-grab raid of a film shoot.

  • Game Fair attractions include the theatre, archery, fishing, falconry, and even a Shetland Pony Grand National. What are you looking forward to most?

    Over the last couple of years, I’ve been getting more interested in birds. It’s surprised me how much of the fishing mindset transfers across to that. So, I’ll be checking out the falconry, for the chance to get a closer look at some raptors.

Alexandra Henton Magazine editor

Alexandra Henton
  • What is your involvement with this year’s Game Fair and how did it come about?

    The Field has attended each Game Fair since its inception in 1958; we wouldn't miss it. As Editor of The Field (the original and best-selling fieldsports magazine) I'm proud to continue the tradition. We spend the three days of the Game Fair welcoming readers and subscribers to our stand, catching up with sporting friends and the rest of the fieldsports community. And let's not forget the much-imitated but never-bested Field Friday drinks party at Ragley Hall (by kind permission of the Marquess of Hertford). A chance to celebrate with our friends and supporters, this year with Bonhams and Investec. We can't wait.

  • The Field magazine is now celebrating its 170th anniversary. Why, in your opinion, is it important to keep traditional country pursuits alive?

    In the modern world it is becoming increasingly rare to come face to face with what you're going to eat for supper. The increasing politicisation of food is a problem. The field to fork experience is an essential one.

    The Field may be 170, but we are a magazine for the modern fieldsports world. One where we champion the sustainable, ethical, and general tolerance of a sporting life lived well. It's a life where butterflies are named, birds revered and nature championed without fearing the more visceral side of it too. It's about understanding balance, and seeing the grey, not the black and white.

  • The July special 170th issue of The Field celebrated the ‘Best of British’. Can you share some of the foods, brands, people, or activities that fall into that category for you?

    A tricky question as there are so many brands doing sterling work at being a successful British brand - which isn't easy. I'm from Leicestershire so the Melton Mowbray pork pie and stilton cheese tend to top my list of foodstuffs (we have some original cheese presses in the cellar). And when it comes to the Best of British activities - well, if you read The Field's history, you'll know we had a hand in many things (including presenting the first trophy at Wimbledon - the rules of tennis were decided in our letters pages). The most obvious though, a thriving fieldsports world - we are the envy of the world when it comes to our sport.

  • Game Fair attractions include the theatre, archery, fishing, falconry, and even a Shetland Pony Grand National. What are you looking forward to most?

    I only ever really get a chance to sneak away from the stand on the Sunday as we are always so busy. But when I do it will be to the fishing demonstrations to pick up a few pointers before heading north in August. Luckily this year The Field stand is next to the main arena, as the Shetland Pony Grand National and the hound parade are always ones to look forward to. And if I can make it to the gundog have-a-go scurry I might catch my husband trying to rein in our labrador. Although there's never enough time to spend at the shooting line, I'd definitely recommend a visit to anyone who hasn't picked up a gun before - it's the perfect place to start.

Investec Wealth & Investment (UK) is a trading name of Investec Wealth & Investment Limited which is a subsidiary of Rathbones Group Plc. Investec Wealth & Investment Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered in England. Registered No. 2122340. Registered Office: 30 Gresham Street. London. EC2V 7QN.