red squirrels

Volunteers needed to save red squirrels – and cull greys

“In most of the UK there are only a handful of refuges left for red squirrels,” said Dr Cathleen Thomas, programme manager of Red Squirrels United, a conservation partnership started in 2015. “Without help, experts predict this beautiful and treasured creature could be extinct within as little as 35 years.” Volunteers…

Wildfowling club granted £35,000 loan

The Wildlife Habitat Trust (WHT) has granted Clevedon Wildfowling Association a £35,000 loan to buy a plot of land, which the club says will support wildfowling “for generations to come”. The association has been shooting over the 13.80-acre patch of grazing and a pond in Kingston Seymour, North Somerset, for…

Rural broadband coverage problem

CLA seeks to strike new deal to end rural broadband divide

Landowners have pledged to work with fibre broadband providers to grant access to private land — in the hope of bringing an end to the rural digital divide. Slow internet speeds and patchy mobile coverage Rural areas are way behind in terms of the fastest broadband and best mobile phone coverage and this…

Fieldsports marquée

BBC bias against fieldsports could go unopposed

Changes to the BBC complaints procedure could lead to continued bias against fieldsports from its shows and presenters, say shooting groups. In the past year, the BBC has come under fire from the rural community several times. An October episode of Inside Out London presented a biased depiction of gamebird rearing that did not show best practice, presented…

man shooting in field

Anti-shooting proposals in “Tory” group manifesto

The Countryside Alliance (CA) has called on the Conservative Party to distance itself from an animal welfare group that it says is “masquerading” as part of the party. The Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, established last year, seeks “an inquiry into commercial driven shoots” and urges the Government to “commit to…

Valentine's Day

What do you LOVE about shooting?

Enough of the red roses and pink champagne. Let’s talk about what you really love and why you love it so much. Forget cheesy dinners, being serenaded by insincere waiters, getting overcharged for a bunch of flowers, spending a fortune on an indifferent meal, being under pressure to pop the…

Shooters eating lunch

Shooting sports make huge contribution to rural economy

Shooting and countryside organisations have highlighted the important role that the shooting and farming industries play in supporting rural tourism. A number of groups gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee inquiry into tourism’s role in supporting rural growth in England last month. Vital source of income for rural business The committee is also examining issues…

moorland grouse

RSPB officer attacks GWCT

Rural organisations are concerned that the RSPB considers itself to be “at war” with moorland managers, following a highly critical public presentation  by one of its senior officers. Speaking to the North of England Raptor Forum in November, RSPB senior upland policy officer Dr Pat Thompson said that certain groups,…

flying pheasant

Bird flu discovered in pheasant flock in Lancashire

A number of the flock have died and the remaining live birds at the infected premises are being humanely culled. A full investigation is under way to determine the source of the infection. Public Health England advises that the risk to public health from the avian flu virus is very…

Animal rights activists

No more hiding for activists as police gain unmasking powers

The House of Lords passed an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill last month that will make it easier for the police to unmask violent protesters. The amendment was made in response to concerns that existing powers do not permit police officers to unmask protesters, often including hunt saboteurs and other animal rights activists, without prior written authorisation. Animal…

British Shooting Show

7 reasons to go to the British Shooting Show

1.You’re on the lookout for a new or used shotgun Whatever your discipline, whether you’re a gameshooter, a wildfowler or a clayshooter, this is the place to come. You’ll find thousands of new and used shotguns to choose from at prices for every budget. Expect to discover some excellent “show only”…

wildfowling club

Latest bird flu warnings from National Gamekeepers’ Organisation

A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) advises: “This advice is hugely important and is essential reading for everyone in the gamebird world… H5N8 bird flu is now widespread in the UK and threatens gamebird management as well as other bird-related industries. We urge all members and others to…

Land Rover Defenders

Queen’s weekly visits to walk gamekeeper’s dogs

We have always known that the Queen is a true countrywoman. One of her retired gamekeepers, Mr Fenwick, died a week ago at the age of 95 and it is said that the Queen is considering giving his dogs a home with her. She began walking his corgi and Bichon…

Turkeys

Bird flu confirmed in Lincolnshire

As a result of the outbreak, a 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been set up around the poultry farm where the bird flu infection (the strain found is H5N8) has been identified. Turkeys on the poultry farm will be culled. A spokesman for the National Gamekeepers’…