FEARS that Craven’s popular rural shows will not go ahead in late August and early September are very real, given the country’s current lockdown in the fight against coronavirus.

The events are a welcome addition to the tourism calendar in the Dales, where farmers can exhibit their prize winning beasts and local crafters sell their ware.

But the Covid 19 pandemic looks set to halt all the shows for the second time in 20 years.

The last time they were stopped was in 2001 during the foot and mouth epidemic.

Both Kilnsey Show and Gargrave Show websites have notices stating it is monitoring government advice.

The message from Gargrave Show committee states it is ‘hopeful’ that the situation regarding Coronavirus will have eased by August and that the show can go ahead as planned adding: “Updates will be published as and when we have new information, so please monitor the show website for up-to-date information.”

Likewise, a message on Kilnsey Show’s page reads: “At present we are hopeful our 2020 show could still go ahead however realistically this may not be possible.

“We will continue to monitor government advice and legislation closely for the upcoming changes and as always ensure we consider what is best for the health and safety of our visitors and volunteers.”

Malham Show secretary Rob Thacker said: “While Malham Show isn’t cancelled at the moment, we are still waiting to hear from the government whether they are going to lift the ban in time for a show to be put on, though things are not really looking likely.

“We will be having a meeting at the end Easter to discuss what we will be doing.

“It is a terrible situation which is affecting so many people all over the country.”

Mr Thacker said a lot of early organisation had to be done to get a show up and running, such as sponsors, dealing with trade stands and organising help.

For the Malham committee it will be particularly disappointing to cancel the show after last year witnessed the hottest temperature on show day for a generation.

Tens of thousands flock to the agricultural events and many charities benefit from having trade stands and collectors there.

People are urged to visit the shows’ individual website for updates.