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
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
There was a feeling of deja-vu when the BASC notification came through on my mobile phone today. Buried in the mundane depths of a day job which is the anti-thesis of my outdoor persona, I had to grit my teeth. My shooting, my addiction to being in the wild (and writing about it as often … Continue reading Sun Tzu and the War Against Shooting
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
So, tonight we learn that the review on the General License debacle is delayed for another week. The escalation from a Natural England legal capitulation (remember, Scotland and Wales have still refused to bow to the legal challenge) to the anticipated safety of DEFRA and the Secretary of State (SOS) was welcomed by the rural … Continue reading General Licenses – Defra Delay
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
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
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?