BY MARK CRUDGINGTON Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, DEFRA Dear Mr Barclay , I am a master gun maker who has for the last 18 months been communicating with your predecessor concerning the proposed ban of lead in rifle and shotgun ammunition against which I am totally opposed. I have also communicated with DEFRA, the HSE, my MP, The Prime Minister and various organisations. In … Continue reading An Important Letter for Steve Barclay
BY JIM WEBSTER A growing number of people in the charity sector have been complaining about banks. I’m not talking about banks ‘unbanking’ people they disapprove of. Although why usurers, whose profession is frowned upon by all the world’s major religions, have suddenly become the guardians of decency, is beyond me. I’m more talking about the problems charities have had getting any sort of service … Continue reading Adopting a Charitable Attitude
BY BERT BURNETT Dear Editor, Something is fundamentally wrong in ‘conservation’ circles. We have seen huge increases in raptor populations over the last half a century, some species the highest ever recorded. Kites, buzzards, goshawks and sparrowhawks are all on the rise. We have raptor lobbyists claiming eagles are in trouble through persecution when in fact their numbers have apparently risen by approximately 35-40 pair … Continue reading Raptor Agitprop, Wader Persecution
BY ROGER WATSON In China it appears you can take the peasant out of rural areas, but you cannot stop them being a peasant. Early in the last decade China initiated a project to move 250 million people from rural areas to the cities; from shanties and small houses to the high rise apartments that characterise so much of their urban environment. In fact, since … Continue reading Urban Peasants
BY GREG LATHAM This is the result of my day on the Hill last Thursday: The gentleman who shot the stag first came to me in 1993. So, he has been coming to stalk deer in Scotland for the past 30 years. Over that time, he has rented self-catering accommodation, hotel accommodation and, for the last fifteen years or so, a Highland Lodge. Always bringing … Continue reading Deer Stalking Notes
The Editor of Country Squire Magazine, Dom Wightman, defends the British Countryside on British Thought Leaders. Continue reading Dominic Wightman: British Thought Leaders
THE CITY GRUMP Emblazoned across the front of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth is the slogan “Ignorance is Strength”. I was reminded of this the other day, when through the letterbox landed a leaflet from the Gatwick High Command headed “One step closer to a brighter future-for everyone”. And what does this brighter future hold for all of us? A second runway, by their own calculations, … Continue reading Gatwick Inspired by the Ministry of Truth?
BY GILES BRADSHAW The Wild Justice Director Mark Avery has given qualiﬁed support to disobeying the Hunting Act. He believes that it is “ﬁne” provided that: I’m going to assume this is also the position of the campaign group to which he belongs. And I think this is a reasonable position to hold. I’d like to give qualiﬁed support to Avery’s qualiﬁed support of hunt … Continue reading Breaking the Hunting Act is “fine” says Avery
Scientists and practitioners criticise ‘dangerous’ attempts to ban controlled burning on heather moors. A group of prominent scientists and practitioners have said there is ‘no clear scientific consensus to support a blanket ban against controlled vegetation burning on heather moorland’ and that ‘policy decisions are being influenced by special interest groups who regularly ignore or distort evidence in order to outlaw the practice’. The Future … Continue reading Future Landscapes Forum
BY BEN McCARTHY Dear Squires, This week I noted with interest how Mark Avery of the campaign group Wild Justice turned his nose up at a recent ‘unsettling’ image of the Mendip Hunt Sabs: “It recalls, too readily for me, paramilitary action” is an odd quote from Mr Avery. The other 2/3 of Wild Justice are comprised of outspoken hunt sabs who’ve been posting these … Continue reading Expose the Terrorists Among Us
BY ANDREW TETTENBORN Monday’s judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Dartmoor wild camping case, which went against the landowners, will form a small footnote in the law books (“The word ‘recreation’ can include camping”) and be pasted in large letters on the trophy wall of such organisations as Ramblers UK and the Open Spaces Society. But it is rather more important than … Continue reading On Dartmoor Wild Camping
BY MARK PIERCE When we think of invasive species in the UK, our minds often go to non-native troublemakers like Japanese Knotweed or American Mink. However, there’s a lesser-known issue lurking in certain areas: invasive native predators. Take the stoat, for example, a familiar face in the UK but not typically found in some regions. Let’s delve into the peculiar case of the stoats invading … Continue reading The Stoat Conundrum in Orkney
BY JOHN NASH Australia experienced a terrifying Black Summer in 2019/20, when massive bush fires burned some 35 million acres, destroyed an estimated 3 billion vertebrates (perhaps driving a number to extinction), wrecked scores of irreplaceable rock paintings, wiped out 3000 buildings and, sadly, 47 people died. The tragedy may have cost Australia as much as A$80 billion. Now research has revealed the cause of … Continue reading Cool Burning
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Sir Johnny Scott is a fine man. If you want to learn about the British Countryside, please refrain from turning to the hucksters or doomscultists. Instead look for someone like Sir J who has lived, worked and breathed our Countryside – I am sure he won’t mind me saying – for rather a few years. Always better to find a doer covered … Continue reading The Countryman Sets Forth Again
A new survey has shown a 57% increase in eagle nests in only 7 years in Scotland on land managed by professional gamekeepers. The national study, following on from similar surveys in 2013 and 2015, was conducted by The Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which has 5300 members in Scotland. Officials asked members for locational details of active eagle nests on the ground they manage, with 35 … Continue reading Major Eagle Nest Increase on Gamekeeper Managed Land
The natural beauty of the countryside has always been a source of inspiration for human expression in art. There are countless water colour paintings of the UK’s rolling hills, thatched roofs, and babbling brooks, each one offering up a snapshot of the countryside’s picturesque landscapes. Music, movies, and television have also regularly turned to the country for ideas. You only need to look at the … Continue reading Video Games Inspired by the Countryside
BY BERT BURNETT This is a picture put up by the Cairngorms National Park. Beautiful isn’t it? But what this photograph fails to reveal is that this is what the area looked like before the Park Authorities took over. It’s looked like this for decades if not longer, thanks to the management that was in place before not the management that we have now. Such … Continue reading Real or a Postcard?
BY SUFFOLK & NORFOLK RAT PACK Before the first sunrise of 2023 the pack had assembled. Although some had bleary eyes everyone was rearing to get to work. We received a call from a farmer telling us he needed to clear some bales that he knew were full of rats. He was about to poison them, however he was delighted we could attend at short … Continue reading Exploding with Rats
BY BERT BURNETT Loch Lomond was once a stronghold for capercaillie but thanks to RSPB type management where nature takes its own course the capercaillie is now gone forever. It has been suggested for years that the way to bring back capercaillie is to rear and release but RSPB have effectively blocked any attempts for this to happen. They encourage releases with so many other … Continue reading The RSPB Works in Mysterious Ways
BY BERT BURNETT The RSPB only ten years ago were practising this technique and they know its benefits for wildlife and fire mitigation but they have chosen to ignore what they know and use this fire management as a club to attack the shooting industry with. According to them fire is only destructive when carried out by gamekeepers and other upland managers. They have even … Continue reading Why Do the RSPB Feel the Need to Lie about Fire Management?