MARTIN TICKER says: First, you need to decide where cover crops can be planted in relation to the release pen to create the maximum number of sporting drives. You can use the release pen as a drive in its own right toward the end of the season but, before then, it’s best to drive birds so they fly from cover, over the guns, and back to the safety of the wood they have been released in.

I’m hoping the woods you’ve been offered come up to scratch. What you’re looking for is one with plenty of ground and middle cover to hold birds, but with sufficient gaps in the overhead canopy to let plenty of sunshine in on the release pen. A wood with too much canopy will not be good enough to hold birds in winter.

Don’t, however, write off a potentially good release pen wood at the first time of looking. With a little bit of hard work even the most unpromising piece of woodland can be turned into something eminently suitable over a period of two or three years.

If you are in any doubt at all then make an appointment with one of our Game Conservancy Trust advisors. The fee you pay for a consultation will repay itself in next to no time, both in terms of time, money and improvements in the sporting quality of the birds you want to show.

Got a question? Contact: or Sporting Gun, PO Box 157, Stamford, Lincolnshire PE9 9FU