Keep up-to-date with the latest news on shooting, political developments, legislation changes, licensing updates, conservation, animal management, campaigns and key events

Cornbury Park

Buy your tickets for the 2016 Field & Country Fair

Buy your tickets in advance and get fast-track entry. And there are no booking fees! Advance ticket prices – book here now! Adult: £18 Student: (12 to 18) £10 Senior: £16 The new Field & Country Fair – Friday 10th June until Sunday 12th June 2016 – will feature world-renowned gunmakers, the…

people shooting in countryside

Report shows UK bird numbers halved since 70s

Shooters have a “major part” to play in conserving the UK’s bird populations, say countryside groups, following the publication of the 2015 UK Biodiversity Indicators Report by DEFRA and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee last month. The report highlights the declining fortunes of Britain’s birds, with statistics showing that between 1970 and 2014…

HRH Prince of Wales

RSPCA “at risk” of losing Royal support

The RSPCA is in danger of losing the support of the Royal Family due to its continued political campaigning, it has been claimed. A source told the Daily Telegraph last month that HRH the Prince of Wales has “fundamental disagreements” over many of the RSPCA’s key policies and has “privately voiced concerns” about…

Tree sparrow

A few places left on Big Farmland Bird Count ID Days

The BFBC initiative has been overwhelmingly popular and had a fantastic response. Most days are now sold out but if you’d like to get involved you’ll be pleased to hear there are a handful of places remaining on the South Wales ID Day. The event takes place on Friday 5 February…

people in supermarket

Supermarkets up their game – literally

Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys have put in orders with Yorkshire Game, Aldi has made a deal with Highland Game and Iceland are selling grouse from Scottish Kezie Foods. Morrisons have even launched a new brand – Wild as Nature Intended. It is certainly a market that supermarkets cannot fail…

Scottish deer

Police arrests in Devon for poaching and wildlife crime

Business and residential properties were searched to investigate alleged offences for poaching and the illegal supply of meat. Two men aged 37 and 42 were arrested for poaching offences and a further two men aged 19 and 57, and a 53 year old woman arrested in connection with firearms offences.…

rural scene in Yorkshire

Labour failing to attract rural dwellers warns report

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance commented on Twitter: Hope Labour reacts to this by increasing engagement with rural people, not ignoring them https://t.co/is3d3XCtBO pic.twitter.com/QiAMdrOvXK — Tim Bonner (@CA_TimB) January 21, 2016 In a further statement to Shooting UK, Tim Bonner added: “The last election saw the countryside…

Roguish poacher

Modern poachers are not the affable rogues of old

Thirty-odd years ago, poachers were still poaching game for their own pot, or flogging it at the backdoors of country pubs and hotels, where it would get converted into tasty game, or more accurately, poacher’s pies. There was still an element of “old country romanticism” involved. The culprits were roguish but…

floods in north

Flooding hits shoots up north

Shooting estates have faced dangerous conditions and outright cancellations this season, following sustained poor, wet weather and heavy flooding across the UK. This latest period of bad weather in the north of England follows heavy rain during summer last year, which led to a lack of wild broods on some shoots. Chris…

hen harrier

Government publishes Hen Harrier Joint Action Plan

It makes six recommendations to help restore the population of Britain’s endangered hen harriers, including the controversial brood management measures. It proposes to monitor hen harrier numbers in the UK via satellite tagging and tracking, to share best practice with land managers and gamekeepers, to encourage the provision of food…

pint of beer

There is “more lead in beer than game meat,” say MPs

In a debate on lead ammunition in the House of Commons last month, Rishi Sunak, Conservative MP for Richmond, commented: “The average consumer is exposed to 60 per cent more lead from their consumption of beer. Products contributing more lead to our diets than game meat include potatoes, coffee and even everyday eggs.…

gamekeeper on horse

Meet Dragon – the last horse on the beating line?

A horse moving with a line of beaters isn’t a sight you’re going to see much these days. In fact Frank Shellard says he is probably the last person riding on the beating line in the UK. (If you know anybody else, please get in touch.) I asked him what…

mallards in flight

Shooting groups unite to condemn law-breaking shoots

Countryside organisations have condemned inland shoots that are breaking the law by using lead shot for wildfowl, and have appealed to DEFRA to help identify and prosecute those responsible. Representatives from eight groups, including BASC and the Countryside Alliance, signed a letter to DEFRA secretary of state Elizabeth Truss MP. Some inland…

Dunlin

Endangered birds thriving on Scottish grouse moors

There are 81 species of bird — many red-listed as being of conservation concern — thriving on Scottish grouse moors, according to a new report, published last month by the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association. Many species of bird faring better on managed moors The study conducted wildlife audits on three “key”…

roast game

Shooters dismiss claims eating game lowers IQ

Countryside organisations have hit back at claims that eating game meat can lower a child’s IQ level. The claims relating to the negative impact of lead consumption on human health were made in a recently published report detailing the findings of last year’s Oxford Lead Symposium. The section, Risks of health…

in field with gundogs

Beating the black dog

You may remember me, or rather you may dimly recall the monthly pieces that I wrote for Shooting Times, about fishing (occasionally) and shooting (mostly) and (in particular) running my own small shoot at High Park in Cumbria. I did this for around 10 years and then, three or four years ago, there was suddenly…

CountryCoats2Syria

Campaign calls for country coats to help Syria

It is hoped that shoots over the Christmas period will collect unwanted coats for the CountryCoats2Syria appeal to relieve the humanitarian crisis in Syria. CountryCoats2Syria organiser George Bowyer said: “The harsh winter is a reality for people who fled their homes in Syria with only the clothes they were wearing.…

Law Commission

Law Commission recommends ‘overhaul’ of firearms law

The Law Commission report, published today, aims to make recommendations to solve the problems that undermine the effectiveness of the law governing the acquisition and possession of firearms. The existing law is ‘confused, unclear and difficult to apply’, according to the Law Commission, who review laws and recommend reforms. Currently…

Venison donated to food banks

Venison donated to food banks in South Lanarkshire

Venison has been donated to food banks by The South Lanarkshire Deer Group, members of the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, to provide a Christmas dinner for those in need. The group teamed up with Calderwood Baptist Church in East Kilbride. The group plans to prepare food parcels of venison steaks, sausages and…