Snipe shooting

Want to increase snipe numbers? These habitat improvements make a significant difference

Craigenputtock House has been sitting in the rural splendour of upland Dumfriesshire since the 11th century. Once the home of Thomas Carlyle, one of Scotland’s most influential authors, it has borne witness to much change. Over the years, the landscape has been transformed by afforestation, and continual drainage and tillage,…

land management of grouse moor

Land management is hampered by officials with little knowledge

When a senior member 
of Natural England asks 
a grouse keeper how many birds he releases and it’s not 1 April, you have a right 
to worry. It is not the only example 
of government employees showing 
a serious lack of working knowledge. The licensing debacle has left the management…

lamping foxes

5 tips for lamping foxes

1. What’s the right time to go out lamping foxes? Foxes are generally nocturnal and see excellently at night. Wait until it is properly dark outside before setting off. During the night foxes will sleep for a while – usually from around midnight until 3am. 2. Know the ground Night…

eco-friendly shooting picking up cartridges

How to be an eco-friendly shooter

  Eco-friendly shooting There is always something shoots can do to improve things and help reduce any negative effects we might be having on the environment, however small. In and around release pens A release pen should look pretty much the same when 
the birds are released after three or…

young gamekeeping apprentice

What happens when a gamekeeper loses his job?

I would hazard a guess that many 
a captain of industry who also runs a shoot listens as carefully to his gamekeeper as he does to his finance director. Not that he pays them the same. Gamekeepers are an iconic species. An ancient and highly respected profession, keepering is small…

Holland & Holland bursary

New £10,000 bursary scheme available for young keepers and stalkers

A generous new bursary scheme which supports young keepers or stalkers in the first five years of their career has been announced by Holland & Holland. The company is keen to support natural resource management and to this end will give £10,000 to a successful applicant showing the desired credentials…

National Park

How to deal with redundancy when a shoot closes

If there is anything more upsetting and unsettling than impending redundancy, I have yet to hear of it. And for gamekeepers who have been given notice of a shoot closure or impending redundancy, there is the added body blow of having to find not only another job, but also in…

save the red squirrel

How to help save the red squirrel

We are fortunate in Northumberland to still have pockets of the native red squirrel in several areas. This is not by accident. The work that is quietly being carried out on estates by the shooting community is managing to sustain these populations. Every estate I have visited over the last…

female Gun with gundogs

What happened on a ladies-only shoot day with an all-female keepering team?

Shooting is becoming ever more accessible to a greater audience, none more so than women. This increasing popularity has driven the creation of fantastic communities such as Femmes Fatales and the Shotgun 
& Chelsea Bun Club, allowing women of all ages and abilities to get involved and meet like-minded individuals.…

Millet

The best cover crops for the part-time keeper

Cover crops can do many things to enhance a shoot: Provide options for early-season drives when the woods might have too much leaf on the trees to push pheasants out Link areas of land where there are no natural transfer points such as hedges or ditches Give more options in…

antibiotic use in game birds

Stark choice for game industry on antibiotics

A coalition of shooting and veterinary groups has urged the game sector to make further cuts to antibiotic use in game birds. A joint statement has been released by the British Veterinary Association, BASC, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Countryside Alliance, the British Veterinary Poultry Association, the Game…

Queen with gamekeepers

Queen makes donation in support of gamekeepers

HM The Queen has 
shown her support for the fieldsports community by making a donation to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust. The gift to the charity was revealed following the Trust’s annual general meeting last month, though the donated sum remains undisclosed. Founded in 1992, the Trust was set up to…

wild salmon

Scotland seeks to solve salmon crisis

The Scottish Government has pledged £700,000 to tackle declining wild salmon stocks. With survival rates for salmon at sea having dropped to just five per cent, ministers say that the money will help to fund new research and activities and mitigate damaging factors such as predation, illegal poaching and salmon…

Labour Party proposes a ban on “intensive rearing”

The Labour Party’s proposed animal welfare plan, which includes a pledge to “promote high standards with regards to game shoots”, has had a mixed reception from rural groups. Published on the heels of the Government’s own proposed Animal Welfare Bill, the 50-point plan seeks to improve the treatment of wild,…

young gamekeeper

Does a gamekeeper really need a degree?

This is my eighth season being 
a headkeeper on an estate in the Cotswolds. Having entered 
the gamekeeping profession 
full-time at the age of 23, 
my initial knowledge came 
from running a small shoot in 
Suffolk for a farmers syndicate 
and having a BSc (Hons) 
degree in conservation and 
environment.…

Ampleforth College Shoot

Ampleforth College Shoot 2018

In the past five years the school shoot has grown in both extent and professionalism. Student-led and supported, with guidance by staff and parents, Ampleforth is putting down around 800 pheasants and partridges each year in three pens across the valley, shooting a good 10 days in the season.  Eight…

game to feed homeless

Keepers helped feed homeless this Christmas

Angus and Grampian gamekeepers teamed up to give more than 600 homeless and vulnerable people a freshly cooked meal of local game over the festive period. Members of the Angus Glens Moorland Group and Grampian Moorland Group worked to deliver locally reared oven-ready pheasants and partridges, as well as fresh…