During the first phase of 'Lockdown' I missed my patrols around the naturalists paradise that is my shooting permission. A mixture of woodland, arable land and livestock farming. The first sensory delight to greet me on my return to the wood was ‘the orchestra’. I stepped into the ride beneath a verdant canopy illuminated with … Continue reading Squirrels and Jackdaws: A Return From Lockdown
For a habitual wanderer, confinement to the proximity of my home could have been hell. I’m glad to say it’s proved otherwise. The order to “stay close to home, don’t get too close to strangers and be home before dark” isn’t new to most of us. These were the instructions given to me as a … Continue reading The Lockdown Wanderer
Is there anything more calming than the gentle patter of rain? The flautist on the branch had heralded the downpour with his trill repertoire. The cock blackbird is rarely wrong when it comes to forecasting precipitation. As the gun-metal grey clouds rolled across, I donned my wet gear and slipped a leash on Charlie the … Continue reading It’s life, Captain … but not as we know it !
Those of you who read Part 1 will know that Charlie (our OCD cocker spaniel) found that the UK Lockdown coincided with some serious landscaping of his humble jungle and hallowed hunting ground. We’re only talking an overgrown shrubbery but the fall-out was a huge event for the ‘dog who never obeys’. Not only had … Continue reading Charlie the Cocker’s Lockdown: Part 2
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
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 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
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 …
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 drive home tonight filled me with frustration. The local farmers have been battling with the lack of rain out here in the East and so the irrigation pipes have been laid out and water hungry seedlings are getting a well needed boost from the sprinklers. I stopped near one of my permission fields to … Continue reading Revocation – The Aftermath