On the year that it celebrated its 20th anniversary, the ARB Show fittingly broke attendance records again and marked the occasion with a feast of activities for all ages and interests.
Last year’s figure of 6,834 appeared tough to beat, having itself bettered previous records by 96 percent.
However, a large queue of expectant arbs arriving before 9am on opening morning was followed by a constant stream of visitors over the 2 days.
In total 8,362 arborists and members of the public keen to learn more about the industry and the science of trees passed through the gates, culminating in a 22% increase, in no small part due to an increased attendance from AA Members.
Traditionally in an APF year visitor numbers have decreased slightly or plateaued, but the rise suggests a flourishing event and who would bet against an ARB Show reaching the 10,000 milestone in the not too distant future?
The figures only told part of the story though, as the special anniversary event attracted interest from media and government on top of its growing core of arborists. Representatives from DEFRA were in attendance and on Friday Conservative MEP Ashley Fox visited the Arboricultural Association, while David Drew Shadow Minister for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs attended on Saturday. Dr Drew, the MP for Stroud, met with AA Chief Executive Stewart Wardrop and Chairman Keith Sacre to find out more about the issues facing our industry.
On Saturday morning BBC Radio Gloucestershire were on site, keen to find out more about the ‘celebration of the science of trees’ and how the show connects the general public with the arboriculture industry.
Over 100 exhibitors offering all manner of products and services were on hand displaying the latest products available in every market from decay detection technology, soil decompaction and enrichment to new climbing kit and almost every type of chipper and shredder you could imagine. Exhibitors had little time to pause for breath, including retailers like Sorbus International Ltd who were thrilled.
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