Wildscribbler’s Diary – October 2019

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 Wildscribbler’s Diary – October 2019

Wildscribbler’s Diary – September 2019

I stepped outside and the cool morning mist caressed my face like a lover's gentle kiss. The swirl of vapour swathed the motor and for the first time since winter, I had to scrim the moisture from the windows of the vehicle. The yellow halo of a veiled sun was already auguring an Indian Summer … Continue reading Wildscribbler’s Diary – September 2019

Gloves Off On The Glorious Twelfth

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

New Book Launch – Hunting and Fieldcraft with Shotgun and Rifle

This book is for anyone who ranges the countryside harvesting meat for the table, undertaking crop protection and protecting vulnerable species from predation. It is for the mature adult venturing into shooting with a limited knowledge of bird and beast. Or perhaps changing from air rifles to more powerful tools. It is for the kid … Continue reading New Book Launch – Hunting and Fieldcraft with Shotgun and Rifle

The Day The Birdsong Died

April 23rd 2019 will go down in rural folklore not as just another St Georges Day. It will go down on record as the day that England – Natural England – capitulated to the writhing serpent that calls itself ‘Wild Justice’. The day when the venomous beast breathed a little fire and the designated protectorate of … Continue reading The Day The Birdsong Died

Wild Time, Precious Time

I’m of an age now when sitting behind a leaf-net, as I did this morning, sometimes feels like wasting precious time. The purpose of the exercise today was woodpigeon control and it was effective. It usually is. Of late, the absence of my old cookpot mainstay (the rabbit) means that the woodpigeon has become a … Continue reading Wild Time, Precious Time

Justice or Junket?

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 Walk Amongst Wigeon

Strolling along the track from Buckenham Station car park towards the River Bure, it would have been easy to think that we were the first visitors to the Fen this morning. The cracked ice on the myriad puddles told a different story, obviously shattered by vehicle tyres. Scanning ahead, through frosted breath, we could see … Continue reading A Walk Amongst Wigeon

Control and Conscience

  I cross between two coverts following the tractors trail between a thigh high crop, under a cloudless azure sky. The fronds are still glistening with dawns dew and my trousers are soaked. A head pops up just five yards from me, amid the barley, startling me. Then a second head. Then a third, a … Continue reading Control and Conscience

Where Did All The Rabbits Go?

The decline of the humble rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, across many areas of the UK has been notable. This has been reported by many country folk, hunters and conservationists. Yet the dearth of rabbits in distinct areas is matched by reports from some areas that the rabbit is alive and kicking in healthy numbers. So what’s … Continue reading Where Did All The Rabbits Go?