Charlie the Cocker has always been a bit OCD. Change (no matter how minor) disturbs him to the point of distress. His bed has to be in the right place. Feeding times must be rigid and we get a wet-nose poke if we forget it’s supper time. His walk ‘around the block’ on work days … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown
A few hours around field and wood with the gun on Sunday gave me time to reflect on the extraordinary events going on at the moment. Out amongst nature, where danger and threat are components of every wild creature's life, it’s easy to dismiss the burgeoning threat to some of the human population. Sitting on … Continue reading Covid-19: A Reflection From The Forest
I paid a visit to my gunsmiths this morning to top-up on some .22LR ammunition. Inevitably, the lead-shot versus steel-shot dialogue came up and what I learned was both illuminating and disturbing. Nine of the leading shooting organisations (let’s call them A9) recently aligned to jointly announce a planned phasing out of the use of … Continue reading The C Word. Shootings ‘Shot in the Foot’.
I’m long enough in the tooth now not to get too ‘rattled’ by the antics of those opposed to shooting as August 12th approaches. The opening day of grouse shooting, every year, prompts not just salvo’s of lead but also a barrage of verbosity from both sides of the shooting divide. Yesterday saw the usual … Continue reading Gloves Off On The Glorious Twelfth
The breaking news this afternoon of DEFRA’s release of three new General Licenses is welcome news indeed. I’d like to be among one of the first to thank not only DEFRA for their intervention but also the aggregated efforts of our representative shooting, farming and conservation organisations for their lobbying and advice. Not to mention … Continue reading General Licenses – A Restoration Of Common Sense
Having waited for six weeks, I was delighted to receive an e-mail on my iPhone telling me that my application for a personal General License to control birds ‘Preventing Serious Damage’ had been approved and the License was attached. It was issued by Natural England and signed by James Diamond, their Operational Director. The same … Continue reading The Dissection Of A General License
I met a crow in the wood today. I watched him for a while and he watched me. I could see he was eye-balling the wood margin where a hen pheasant is on eggs in the nettles. He was also watching the nearby hedgerow where the chaffinches were nesting. I raised my shotgun, convinced that … Continue reading I met a crow in the wood today …
As I write this, it is with the pleasure of knowing that a spurious, crowd-funded attempt to interfere in the future of the hen-harrier has been averted. Natural England (the Governments custodian of the countryside) had quite sensibly agreed to license trials for brood management of hen harriers. A threatened moorland raptor species. Brood management … Continue reading Justice or Junket?
A request came up on my Twitter feed last night, asking me to sign a HM Gov petition rallying against any consideration of airgun licensing in England and Wales. The following is an explanation, despite my good standing within the airgun community, of why I can’t sign such a petition. On October 10th 2017 the … Continue reading Airgun Licensing … What Are We Scared Of?
So today saw the launch of the Labour Party’s ‘50 point plan’ for Animal Welfare Reform and what a cuddly, gushing document it made too! Hardly nature ‘Red’ in tooth and claw, as would be expected. The brief introduction (by Sue Hayman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) sets the … Continue reading Labour’s Animal Welfare Plan? A View From The Countryside.