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 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…

Women shooters

‘Major upturn’ in women shooters this grouse season

This year’s grouse shooting season has seen an ‘major upturn’ in demand from women shooters and the increasingly popular all women shooting clubs according to reports from The Gift of Grouse campaign and Scottish Moorland Group. Estates such as Leys Estate and Castle Fraser Farms in Aberdeenshire have tailored days to suit…

Field & Country Fair

Time Inc. UK launches the Field & Country Fair

Time Inc. UK, the publisher of  The Field, Shooting Gazette, Shooting Times, Sporting Gun, Country Life and Horse & Hound  further expands its portfolio of events with the launch of the Field & Country Fair, celebrating the British countryside and field sports. The Field & Country Fair will take place…

UK's top game restaurants

Nine of the UK’s top game restaurants

London Rules Just around the corner from Covent Garden, London’s oldest restaurant, which opened in 1798, is the place to go if you have a budget to throw out of the window and an appetite for game to satisfy. With links to an estate in the Pennines, where staff go to…

Is your gundog ready for Crufts 2016?

The gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts 2016 are open to gamekeepers, owners of working gundogs, gundog teams and young handlers. Once again the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) -the UK’s largest shooting organisation –  will host these particular classes which will be held on Gundog Day, Friday 11 March 2016,…

House of Bruar

Scottish pork sausages win prestigious award

The House of Bruar have won the Q Guild Smithfield Butchery Awards trophy for the second time. The Scottish company beat off competition from across the UK to be crowned with the coveted award for best pork sausage. The winning sausage, which scored a perfect 100 by the guild judges…

Warning by Scottish Land & Estates over Land Reform Bill

Mr Johnstone commented: “The Land Reform Bill, as it stands, will have far-reaching and detrimental consequences for land-based businesses across Scotland, which employ many thousands of people and make a major social, economic and environmental contribution to rural communities.” He also raised concerns about “any attempt to make the Bill even more…