It is all very well having a shotgun licence, but pieces of paper do not make you a countryman overnight. Education is key, especially for children, and with parents so busy these days the government must step in. Anyone with ambitions to shoot would be obliged to register with the new Shooting Standards Quango and take a series of three-hour lessons covering a variety of subjects including fieldcraft, tipping etiquette, shotgun handling and maintenance, cartridge and choke selection, 4×4 handling, sloegasm preparation and, of course, shoot day humour.

At the end of the lessons, candidates will be required to sit a three-hour exam, which will involve written, oral and practical tests – including a perfect recall of the Latin names for game birds. Only those who achieve a 95 per cent pass rate will be allowed onto shoots. Once a gun reaches the age of 70 they will be required to resit the exams to ensure they are still competent in their duties. Booking fees apply.

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*This blog is firmly tongue-in-cheek.