Sir Ian Botham

Sir Ian Botham threatens to sue “deceptive” RSPB

Sir Ian Botham has threatened to sue the RSPB, claiming the charity falsely accused him of illegally killing birds of prey. Lawyers for the former England cricket captain contacted the organisation following recent comments that it made about him on the BBC. “I don’t take kindly to being lied about”…

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…

Scottish Gamekeepers’ Day at Scone Palace

The Scottish Gamekeepers Day’, organised by BASC, provides gamekeepers across Scotland with a forum for debating important issues such as game bird disease management, and allows gamekeepers to stay abreast of changes in the law. A clay shooting competition will also be included in the day’s events. BASC Scotland director…

BASC council candidate – Sarah Turner

Sarah Turner, aged 26, is a rural chartered surveyor. She lives in rural north Devon on the edge of Exmoor. She is standing for one of five contested seats in this year’s BASC council elections. What is your shooting and conservation background? My father is head picker-up on the Castle…

BASC council candidate – Ann Mortimer

Professor Ann Mortimer, aged 57, is a professor of psychiatry and a consultant psychiatrist. She lives in rural East Yorkshire. She is standing for one of five contested seats in this year’s BASC council elections. What is your shooting and conservation background? Until 10 years ago, I didn’t have one.…

free pheasants

Estates and keepers to supply free pheasants to those in need this Christmas

Gamekeepers and estates are helping to bring a festive flush to Christmas in Aberdeenshire this year by giving fresh game and fuel to those in need. Local councillors, charities and volunteers have come together to help the initiative get off the ground and make a real difference to people this…

Common Buzzard

Keeper caught on hidden camera convicted of killing birds of prey

Aberdeenshire gamekeeper George Mutch was found guilty on 11 December 2014 of illegally using a trap and recklessly killing or injuring two goshawks and a buzzard at Kildrummy Estate, near Alford in Aberdeenshire. The prosecution case hinged on controversial video evidence submitted by the RSPB, which was obtained secretly using…

Clovelly Shoot

Pheasant shooting from the Clovelly Shoot, Devon

I hate to use this word but it was a ‘unique’ start to the shoot day, in that I left the modern confines of my room at the Red Lion Hotel in full shooting attire only to be pinned back by the shock of watching the groaning green and white…

Do I need a general licence or a game licence?

Game licences and game dealers licences were abolished in Scotland with effect from 7 April 2011 when the new Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Bill was passed

Gamekeepers of WWI

The gamekeepers of WWI

On 4 August, 1914, when Great Britain declared war on Germany and WWI broke out, around 23,000 gamekeepers were employed on estates throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Encouraged by landowners and the popular press, these keepers, both young and old, flocked to enlist to fight for their country. Those…

gamekeeper's apprenticeship

The gamekeeper’s apprentice

The countryside is a wonderful place to work, and the men and women who toil away at forestry, farming and gamekeeping play a vital role in its upkeep and the diversity of wildlife that lives in it. Countryside-based jobs are thought to give you greater satisfaction and feelings of well-being…

keepering abroad

Shooting job opportunities abroad

Last summer I was discussing the releasing of duck in Hungarian. Speaking through a translator, my host asked me whether we in England reared and released duck for shooting. I confirmed that we did indeed, and went on to explain that on the college shoot that my students run we…

PACEC report: Value of shooting is £2.5bn a year

The new PACEC report reveals that shooting accounts for 10 per cent of all spending on outdoor activity, supports 74,000 full-time jobs and manages 10x more land for conservation than nature reserves