on grouse moor

Climate change – shoots use nature-based solutions to tackle problem

Restoring petland has been identified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the key tools to sequester Carbon and it is an opportunity shooting estates have eagerly taken up. The Sphagnum mosses which make up peat lock up carbon dioxide much more quickly and for…

hen harrier

Hen harrier chick numbers soar on managed moorland

Reports of successful hen harrier nests from around the country raise the prospects of another record-breaking year for hen harrier numbers. Land managers have reported 24 successful nests on moorland in Northumberland, North Yorkshire, County Durham, Cumbria, Derbyshire and Lancashire. Of the 24 successful nests, 19 are on moors managed…

Aim to Sustain

Fieldsports bodies maximise voice with Aim to Sustain

Aim To Sustain launched at the Game Fair 2021, comprising BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the British Game Alliance (BGA), the CLA, the Game Farmers’ Association, the Moorland Association, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and Scottish Land & Estates. Liam Stokes, chief executive of the BGA, described Aim to Sustain as: “……

Bees' Needs Week

Bees’ Needs Week – time to support bees and pollinators

The week from 12 to 18 July is Bees’ Needs Week, so what better time to think about supporting bees and other pollinators on the shoot? This is a key area where we who shoot can show that we care about much more than simply the game we manage. Small…

Perthshire keepers ally with conservation body to stamp out raptor persecution

Perthshire grouse moors are tackling raptor persecution head on by collaborating with Wildland to support eagle conservation. A satellite tag has been fitted to a golden eagle chick at a site in the Strathbraan area so the team can follow its movements. Wildland has been tagging raptors in the Cairngorms…

trophy hunting in Africa

Trophy hunting: when it’s well-managed, it’s a force for good

When I first moved to the UK from South Africa, I knew how much of a contributor to wildlife conservation regulated big game trophy hunting is. And of all the wildlife conservationists I’d met and idolised growing up in southern Africa, most of them were pro-hunting, or recognised that hunting…

Mink footprints

All about the mink and why mink rafts are an effective form of control

With all the news about new rules for trapping stoats, and changes to general licences for corvid control, it’s easy to forget that there are other predators out there that we need to address – like the American mink Why we need to control mink When we think about mink…

Curlew eating worm

A new dawn for curlew recovery

In January 2016, I began planning a 500-mile walk across Ireland, Wales and England to try to find out more about the plight of the Eurasian curlew. I had read the British Birds paper from December 2015 (The Eurasian curlew — the most pressing bird conservation priority in the UK?,…

Extinction Rebellion plans mass trespass of the countryside for Saturday 24th April

Environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion is mobilising supporters to trespass on private land to protest against being denied access to “92% of the land in England” which they claim “is being criminally misused.” It is scheduled for Saturday 24th April and participants are being encouraged to: “Peacefully climb over no…

magpie

Why has Natural England introduced new controls for corvids?

Things had calmed down after Natural England helped stoke anger over the general licences two years ago, but it has heaped coal back on the fire. Back then it was Wild Justice that threw a spanner in the works, helping to strip vital protection from endangered curlew, lapwing and other…

Duke of Northumberland

Outstanding contribution to conservation – Duke of Northumberland 

Outstanding contribution to conservation – Duke of Northumberland  The Duke of Northumberland has undertaken a number of projects on the Northumberland estate. In 2012, together with the Environment Agency, six new fish passes were installed on the river Aln, significantly improving breeding opportunities for salmon, sea trout and eels. Other…

Fishing for Atlantic salmon

Schöffel pledges 1% of new fly-fishing clothing sales to salmon conservation charity

Schöffel has pledged to donate one percent of turnover from the company’s new fly-fishing clothing range to the Atlantic Salmon Trust, a charity dedicated to the conservation of wild salmon and sea trout at sea and in fresh water environments. Says Marcus Janssen, Brand Director at Schoffel: “The Atlantic Salmon’s…

Waiting on the peg

How to avoid 2021’s corvid control trap

With the season all but over, my mind as usual turns to planning for the next. In just a few weeks, the pheasants will be setting up their territories, strutting their stuff and doing everything they can to keep their harems together. The corvids will be getting frolicsome too. Rooks…

shoot management

Conservation projects to carry out during lockdown

If you are involved in shoot management in any way, do consider the following. Is there still a decent shrub layer, or has canopy closure started to starve out the sunlight that is so essential to woodland floor habitat? Aside from a few very early starters such as ravens and…

woodcock shooting

How we can help nurture our wonderful woodcock

Woodcock have a reputation of being unpredictable in their movements, here today and gone tomorrow. So you could be forgiven for feeling that whether or not you shoot them makes little difference to numbers in the long-term. To the Victorian sportsman, a ‘fall’ was not to be missed. If the…

adder

Pheasant releases ‘could wipe out adders in most of Britain’

A recent article in The Guardian stating that adders are endangered due to “uncontrolled release of millions of game birds” is incorrect say the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO). The piece highlights the claim of Nigel Hand, a trustee of Amphibian and Reptile…

boy climbing tree

New Natural History GCSE to help young understand natural world

Cambridge Assessment has confirmed that its UK exam board OCR is developing a new GCSE in Natural History, following a consultation open to all parties. The idea was proposed by conservationist Mary Colwell, who wants “to make nature part of British society again”. She was concerned that young people were…

Grouse moor

The man-made idyll of grouse moors

Coming from the soft south, 
I didn’t see a live grouse until I was 19. That was in the summer of 1974, when I took off to the Cairngorms for a couple of weeks to go youth hostelling with a friend. There were new sights around every corner, with dotterel,…