COUNTRY sports from flyfishing to hunting will attract more than 135,000 visitors over three days to Blenheim Palace.

The Country Landowners' Association (CLA) is celebrating its 'golden' Game Fair, marking 50 years of the event, on July 25, 26, and 27.

And it is involving major organisation logistics, not just to cope with the traffic on roads to Woodstock, but also in setting up a showground with more than 1,000 exhibitors on 500 acres of parkland on the Duke of Marlborough's estate.

The Game Fair is the world's biggest sports exhibition and the national event for 50,000 owners of rural properties, represented by the CLA.

The return to Blenheim follows previous fairs in 2000 and 2004, and is expected to be bigger and better.

Last week, the organisers gave a glimpse of what can be expected when they invited the media to Blenheim, providing a photo shoot of typical country sports, like flyfishing, hunting, shooting, and even a touch of historical costumes to reflect the palace's own theme this year of History Through the Ages.

To mark the fair's 50th anniversary, there was even a policeman dressed in 1950s uniform and holding an old-style truncheon.

Marishelle Gibson, fair spokesman, said: "The build-up to such an event is a spectacle in itself, apparent by the enormous activity taking place on the site.

"The CLA Game Fair acts as a three-day showcase for the whole countryside, with displays, features, and exhibitions representing all aspects of the countryside and rural life."

Have A Go is a major theme running throughout the fair, with visitors getting the chance to try out activities like fishing, clayshooting, archery, and 4x4 driving.

There will also be dog training, children's cookery theatre, laser combat, mountain boarding, and aerial trekking.

One local exhibitor will be Chrissie Harper, from Stonesfield, who runs an owl sanctuary and rescue service. She is just one of many representatives from a wide range of rural and country activities giving demonstrations, including Rebecca Townsend and her Jive Pony.

Ancient tree specialist Chris Hickman will be demonstrating how to find very old trees as one of this year's themes, Exploring Nature. Other new features are a Rural Diversification exhibition, Pugs and Drummers, A Muddy Affair, and fashion show.

But the core area of the Game Fair remains the long established pursuits of shooting and fishing, along with estate management and gundogs. Tuition and advice centres are being provided to help newcomers.

The expected 138,000 visitors would have plenty to see and do, added Ms Gibson, including a Totally Food Show and Elegant Gardens.

Tickets can be booked in advance on the website