Rural Maps

Rural Maps: cartographers mapping out sporting estates

It was the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century that saw the birth of rural mapping. Distribution of these dissolved estates by the Crown prompted beneficiary landowners to commission records of their landed properties. Often colourful and frequently used as status symbols, they were drawn by country surveyors…

Llandinam Shoot

Llandinam shoot: Pheasant and partridge shooting in Powys

Every time I get in the car to go shooting and the journey involves skirting around Welshpool, I know I am heading for some dramatic scenery and correspondingly good birds. This shoot is named after the village of Llandinam, which sits beside the River Severn as it meanders north-east through…

In search of Orkney greylag

Having shot geese in most of the iconic Scottish locations, there was still one area that I hadn’t yet explored – the Orkney Isles. So when the opportunity presented itself to explore this new landscape, myself and three like-minded enthusiasts grabbed it. Our host and outfitter was Rob Frampton of…

Pigeon shooting in the fog

The plan was to try a couple of hundred woodies feeding on high ground above my house, but under what were almost white-out conditions it would now surely be a waste of time. Having waited all morning for the murk to clear, I could at least give it a look,…

Rutland’s “squirrel” wood shoot

The first day on the Pickworth Wood Shoot in Rutland is well known for being a tough yomp! The wood covers 260 acres and the brambles and ground cover are still thick and lush in mid-October, before any heavy frosts have started the winter dieback. It’s a typical ‘walk one,…

Catherine Leach Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall Norfolk’s lady gamekeeper Catherine Leach

What springs to mind when you think of Holkham Hall in Norfolk? The fabulous beach featured in Shakespeare in Love? Perhaps the tremendous 25,000-acre estate that covers miles of shoreline and some of the most beautiful parts of Norfolk? What about the Victoria Inn, where you can sit and listen…

King John Inn Tollard Royal

King John Inn, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire shooting hotel review

The King John Inn in Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, is a 156-year-old hotel that was saved from dereliction by current owners Alexander and Gretchen Boon in 2008. They have done a fine job in restoring this eight-bedroom bolt-hole into the kind of place where shooting folk can feel comfortable making merry.…

Hartpury College

Hartpury College wins Gamekeeping College Clay Shoot

Hartpury College was awarded the Gamekeeping College Challenge Shield, beating off strong compeititon from runners-up Newton Rigg. Hartpury College also walked away with the high gun prize thanks to the individual brilliance of student Jack Lilwall. Each of the 23 teams, drawn from 11 colleges across the UK, shot at…

Knoll Shoot Somerset

The Knoll Shoot, Somerset

Take a peaceful part of the Somerset countryside, add a dedicated team and a generous dollop of showcase drives for those with tight chokes and the ability to match. The result is the perfect recipe for the ultimate day’s shooting. The first frost of the year greeted me as I…

Ferreting in the Dales

Ferreting Rabbits on the Dales

This trip wasn’t about catching rabbits. Nor was it about admiring the breathtaking scenery. It was all about the people on the warren — namely Bob Merrin and Ian “Torchie” Clayton. As a collective, these exponents of rabbiting have seen momentous changes during their lifetime. It had been a decade…

Decoy rigging

There are many ways to rig up decoys. Over the years, I have used a variety of cords and techniques on a range of decoys, until I found what I believe is the perfect combination. You should start by choosing the best decoy for your price range. The UK decoy…

Vine House Farm

Wild game shooting at Vine House Farm shoot, Lincolnshire

The Lincolnshire Fens bring to mind large tracts of commercial arable farming; acres of flat land planted with nothing but cereal crops and not a tree in sight. So hardly the place for a shoot, let alone a wild-bird one. But this patch in the south Lincolnshire Fens has just…

Gloucestershire gundog training

Norman and Sandra Onens of Kestrelway Gundogs are experienced gundog trainers and handlers and at their training ground, based near Evesham in Gloucestershire, they have developed a superb area for training not only novice dogs and handlers, but also dogs that are competing at field trial level. The ground is…

Practice clay shooting

Why is it important to practise clay shooting in summer?

Edward Watson: Once the driven game shooting season closes, it’s very easy for even the most passionate of sportsmen or women to clean their shotgun and then place it carefully in the cabinet until just before their first day of the following season. I think everyone reading this will know…

Scottish Roe Review 2014

Annual roe reviews offer a chance for a catch-up — a catch-up on what was recently harvested and, increasingly, a catch-up and a reflection on what has been harvested in years and sometimes decades past, then often left to moulder in man caves and cardboard boxes up and down the…

Browning B725 Grade 5 for sale

Browning B725 Grade 5

Sportsman Gun Centre have this Browning B725 Grade 5 for sale from £2,995. Take a look at this great secondhand example of this classic game gun now. Click here to view this secondhand Browning B725 Grade 5 for sale!

Hartnoll Hotel review

Hartnoll Hotel Bolham review

By John Walker A perennial problem for shooting parties heading for the hot spots of Exmoor has been where to stay. But for a combination of convenience, modern comfort, great food and a wine list to get pulses racing, look no further than Claire Carter’s Hartnoll Hotel on the outskirts…

Roe buck

English and Welsh roe heads review 2014

Last November, new guidelines for the European species within the CIC’s Red Book — the “bible” of international trophy measuring — were published for internal use. The changes, in principle, will provide greater consistency of measuring throughout a species’ range and provide the trophy judges with clearer technical information. These…

Red deer

RSPB deer cull under fire from animal rights campaigners

Animal rights activists have tried to stop an RSPB deer cull deer at the charity’s Leighton Moss nature reserve in Lancashire. Campaigners objected to plans to cull eight to 10 red deer before the end of March to protect reeds that provide vital habitat for birds including marsh harriers and…