Shooting Times talks to BASC council candidate John Dryden
John Dryden, aged 73, is a shoot captain and gamekeeper at the Piddlewoodcock shoot. He lives in Somerset. He is standing for one of five contested seats in this year’s BASC council elections.
What is your shooting and conservation background?
Twenty one years as regional director for BASC in the South West, formerly regional secretary for the Game Conservancy (Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust) and secretary of the south west branch of the British Deer Society.
What will you do for BASC and for shooting?
As possibly the only candidate from the south west of England, represent the importance and interests of all those members that live in the largest shooting area in this country.
What skills in your working life would you bring to BASC?
Much of my working life has been as a staff member of BASC. I know about what concerns our members and want to continue helping with these. My previous experience in publishing and the entertainment business is also useful.
How would you improve BASC?
I would continue to foster the recent improvements in membership recruitment and services. I would look to encourage even greater efforts towards the introduction of all our disciplines to youngsters and the general public. I am convinced that becoming owners of land for shooting could change the whole dynamic of the Association, something that has visibly strengthened many of our wildfowling clubs. I still hope to see the creation of centres of excellence throughout all of our countries that would interface with the general public and provide even more service to our members.
What bad practices in shooting would you tackle?
I am still very concerned about some of the doubtful practices that take place with some very large commercial shoots. We must continue to challenge these and seek to ensure that they are all beyond reproach. In addition, inconsistencies in rulings by Natural England throughout the country must be resolved by BASC as a matter of some urgency.
Do you think support for all fieldsports is necessary for a member of BASC council?
Yes of course all BASC Council Members should support all legal country sports.
What’s your idea of a perfect shooting/sporting day?
A dawn flight at geese, a successful stalk followed by a breakfast of stalker’s perks, walking up woodcock or grouse in the afternoon followed by a West Country cream tea, before trying an evening flight at teal followed by a glass of my favourite tipple in front of a blazing log fire.
What’s your favourite game dish?
Partridge comes close, but I don’t really have a favourite; I love all game!
The 12 candidates standing for the five contested BASC council places are as follows:
In the Northern Irish and Welsh council seats, for which there will be no ballot, the new council members will be Oliver McCullough (Northern Ireland) Jonathan Garton (Wales).
Profiles of those standing will also be sent to BASC members in the March/April issue of the members’ magazine, along with voting forms. The results will be announced at the organisation’s AGM in June.
For more information about the 2015 elections and BASC council, click here.