Changing attitudes to firearms

“A great deal, of late, has been said and has been written against shooting. It has been denounced as unnatural, cruel, useless, and absurd.” I like that, but the words are not mine. They were written in 1876 by Wildfowler, the nom de plume of Lewis Clement, who was to…

Avocet

Gamekeepers’ conservation evidence is valid

When the "conservation" community dismisses the evidence of those with direct experience of the natural world, it is, effectively masking the truth, writes Lindsay Waddell, chairman of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation

fieldsports scotland

What Scottish independence means for fieldsports

I can honestly say not one person has asked me about independence,” says Robert Rattray, hand dramatically over his heart. As the head of CKD Galbraith’s sporting lets agency in Perth, Robert is someone you’d expect to be asked about the future for Scotland’s £360million fieldsports industry, should the nation…

CAP reforms could mean more peas for pigeon

Reforms to farm funding announced by environment secretary Owen Paterson could mean a boost for pollinators and pigeon shooters, but have been greeted with dismay by a number of wildlife and conservation groups. The minister’s announcement set out how the £15billion of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funds would be distributed…

lady gun

Ladies-only shooting: Girls with guns want more than fun

The outlook for women in the shooting world is looking reasonably rosy these days. It’s not merely a matter of there being more patronisingly pink skeet vests, fuschia-trimmed tweeds and shotguns with flouncy flowery engraving on sale in shooting shops, nor is it simply the case that there is an…

Shot Gun Certificate appeals

The recent announcements by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA) about their standard members’ insurance can only be welcome news to shooters. They will shortly extend their coverage to include costs incurred appealing police decisions in respect to the refusal or…

Does scientific bias affect shooting?

A few years ago I listened to a lecture by American biostatistician, Professor David Allison. In his talk he warned of the dangers of what he called “white-hat bias” and its effect on objective, evidence-based policymaking. It might sound odd, but I was completely transfixed as he described the ways…

Richard Ali BASC

BASC chief executive Richard Ali’s first year

By Helena Douglas Richard Ali describes his first year as BASC chief executive as energising, fast-moving and busy. “The one-year anniversary has come round quickly and it really doesn’t seem like I’ve been here for 12 months,” he says. “We have had a lot to do and we have achieved…

Roebuck bluebells

Stalking roebucks in the bluebells

At the start of the 20th-century, roe were almost extinct in southern England. Since then, their numbers have soared thanks to an increase in woodland planting and strategic reintroduction. In fact, roe are now the most widely distributed deer species in the UK, according to the most recent population survey…

Royal backing for red squirrel strategy

A new plan promoting action to protect red squirrels has received the personal approval of Prince Charles, his office has confirmed. The Accord on Squirrels in the United Kingdom sets out a long-term commitment to see “Red squirrel populations protected and thriving and greys controlled through targeted and sustained action”.…