By the third week of the new ‘lockdown’, I had stuck rigidly to the rules. My Twitter timeline (about as live and topical as you can get) described how even deer stalking was being curtailed by various corporate landowners. Concessions have been made for essential pest control. Grey squirrel and corvid control can hardly be … Continue reading A Lockdown ‘Call To Arms’
Have you got as many weather ‘apps’ on your mobile phone as I have? All of my half-a-dozen promised a morning of no rain. Loaded up for a session on the squirrels I hadn’t even got to the end of the road when I had to turn on the windscreen wipers. Not a deluge but … Continue reading Boxing Clever
Half-way through my seventh decade, my infatuation with the great outdoors and hunting remains as fervent as it did in my first and second. The four-year-old who hunted snails in the garden gravitated through pond dipping, worm fishing, bird egg collecting, and lamping with lurchers. He emerged as a serious air-rifle hunter, with a book … Continue reading The King’s New Throne
With the weather front named ’Ciara’ forecast to hit, I was determined to walk my woods today. As a countryman, shooting conservationist and wildlife lover my affinity with trees is immense. Not just because of the photosynthesis which sustains life on earth. Trees are far more than just oxygen generators. Adult oak, chestnut, beech, sycamore, … Continue reading Storm Ciara, spare my giants!
The mellow Autumn morning mists have given way to more sombre weather already. We’ve yet to see a first frost here in East Anglia but the overnight temperatures have hit middle-scale single figures. The driven-shooting fraternity are two weeks into their sport where the birds have matured. I won’t join in, despite generous invitations. Put … Continue reading Roost Shooting, Fungi and Roe
I was on a late afternoon squirrel sortie around my shoot, under a rustic autumn leaf canopy, when I spotted them. All around me, the floor was strewn with the spikey kernels of sweet chestnuts. Hundreds of them. Most were split open, the brown fruits peeping out like hares eyes. Some were fresh and unripe … Continue reading That Old Chestnut