New medical monitoring for firearms and shotgun licence holders

The new system, led by the Home Office, will make it much more straightforward for GPs to alert police licensing departments if a medical condition is going to affect the certificate holder’s suitability to possess firearms. The condition can also be flagged up during the period the certificate is valid.…

police car on land

Conditions on firearms certificates

I’m the one with the sharpened pencil who gets called in when victims of the licensing system can’t get any sense out of their local lot. That should not happen, but I’m afraid that all too often it does, despite agreed conditions, despite circulars from the Firearms and Explosives Licensing Working…

Field & Country Fair

This year’s Field & Country Fair

The CLA Game Fair may be no more, but Time Inc (UK), publisher of leading country magazines Shooting Times, Shooting Gazette, Sporting Gun, The Field, Country Life and Horse & Hound, is launching the Field & Country Fair at Cornbury Park, in Oxfordshire, over three days this year from 10 to…

Fosseway Game

Fosseway Game: Partridge shooting at Sutton shoot, Warks

How can I start to tell you about 39-year-old Joe Smith, the current leaseholder of the Sutton shoot and owner of Fosseway Game on Manor Farm in the North Cotswolds? If I just described him as a father, a husband, a shoot manager or a game farmer, you might think…

Mallard stick head

Stick to it

Marc Cotterill used to be a mechanic, working on lorries, but three years ago he turned his hand to stick making. “My grandfather had always made sticks and carved the heads, but only as a hobby,” Marc told me. “He taught me to carve the wood and how to make up…

Deer calls

Police arrests in Devon for poaching and wildlife crime

Business and residential properties were searched to investigate alleged offences for poaching and the illegal supply of meat. Two men aged 37 and 42 were arrested for poaching offences and a further two men aged 19 and 57, and a 53 year old woman arrested in connection with firearms offences.…

floods in north

Flooding hits shoots up north

Shooting estates have faced dangerous conditions and outright cancellations this season, following sustained poor, wet weather and heavy flooding across the UK. This latest period of bad weather in the north of England follows heavy rain during summer last year, which led to a lack of wild broods on some shoots. Chris…

UK police officers

Firearms licensing 2015: the saints and sinners

In May 2013 the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC, but then called ACPO) asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) to undertake an inspection of firearms licensing in English and Welsh police forces. Given the timing of the request, there is little doubt it was heavily influenced by a series of…

history firearms

Firearms from 1400 through to the present day

    If you were a shooter in 1400, you’re likely to have come across the Serpentine Lock Arquebus. Fast forward to 1866 and it might have been the Winchester Model 1866. This informative illustrative poster, “A visual history of firearms” shows the technologically groundbreaking firearms of all time and…

shooter with pheasants

European firearms legislation changes “could damage shooting” in Britain

Countryside organisations have warned that revisions to EU firearms legislation could lead to shooting being hamstrung by those opposed to the sport. The European Council earlier this month recommended that the European Commission revise the 1991 Firearms Directive to combat the illegal movement of firearms, and it is thought that…

Wappenshall partridge shoot

Partridge shooting at Wappenshall in Shropshire

Twenty years ago, I reported for Shooting Times on a then 350-acre Wappenshall partridge shoot in Shropshire, hard by the Wrekin, that 1,335ft hill which rises above and dominates the Shropshire Plain. Created by Jonathan Crow, whose father had farmed the land, the shoot was modest in size and devoted to both redleg and grey partridges. Once part of…

beaters and pickers up

Cancelled grouse shooting “will hit rural businesses”

Many rural workers could be out of a job this season as up to 70 per cent of grouse shooting days face cancellation in some regions of the country, suggested the Moorland Association (MA) last week. Prolonged extreme weather conditions, described by the MA as “the worst breeding conditions in…

Sir Peter Scott

Father of the conservation movement

I am not a great one for conspiracy theories, but every now and then you come across an omission that is repeated so often and so consistently that it can only be a result of an attempt to deceive, whether conscious or unconscious. One such involves the life of Sir…

Labrador cartoon

Walked-up grouse. What could be more fun for man and dog?

Human I am not just referring to the vertiginous climbs required to access the heather, which have been known to put paid to a chap’s ambitions to walk-up a grouse before the undertaking has even started. No, I am talking about the need for total control of both man and dog.…

Gold Hill Dorset

Want to have your say on policing and crime in rural areas?

Countryside residents are being urged to have their say as the largest ever survey into policing, crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB) in rural areas nears its deadline on Wednesday 24th June. The survey, available to complete here, is being run by the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), and  is calling…

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”…