BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Around this time of year some time ago I was sitting outside a café in snowy but sunny Prague overlooking the rather nondescript building of the Ministry of Industry, also known as Petschek’s Palace, near the top of the city’s Wenceslas Square. I remember happily puffing on a cigar being talked to by a superfluously chatty yet elegant Spanish acquaintance who thought … Continue reading Reforming Petschek
BY SARAH GREENWOOD Dear Editor, Having watched the recent ‘Disney’fied production narrated by Chris Packham about ‘fox hunting’, there are some comments about this ‘production’ I would like to draw your attention to: Overall, the Chris Packham et al portrayal of the countryside is misleading, claiming it is a place of ‘tranquility’ and ‘serenity’ with all creatures living in harmony, when it patently is not. … Continue reading Fantasy Cartoon Cobblers
BY NIGEL BEAN The National Trust say they have now banned trail hunting on their land due to potential reputational risk associated with this activity after the conviction of Mark Hankinson over the notorious ‘smokescreen’ webinars. Drag hunting will be allowed to continue on their land. What is the difference between Trail and Drag hunting? Trail hunting is an activity that traditional fox hunts have … Continue reading National Trust Jump the Gun?
BY MARK BIRD Recently Mark Avery of Lottery-funded Wild Justice alongside the RSPB lost an appeal against Natural England’s “brood meddling scheme” with regards to the Hen Harrier. Translocation a.k.a “brood meddling” is widely used by conservation bodies to bolster the genetic diversity of isolated populations or to reintroduce a species to its historical range. The RSPB have blocked a reintroduction scheme for the Hen … Continue reading Hypocrisy or What?
BY GARY MCGHEE There are three TV series being broadcast next year that I’m really looking forward to watching. One is the final series of Better Call Saul, the excellent spinoff from Breaking Bad, the other is the next series of the wonderful crime drama Vera, with the brilliant Brenda Blethyn, with sweeping shots of the stunning moorland countryside of Geordie-land, which has created a … Continue reading Diddly Squat
BY NICK PEARCE From the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust: Four of the gamekeeping community’s key membership organisations recently announced they would be donating £1,100.00 to the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust (GWT), saying on social media “This charity gives fantastic assistance to those who do the hard yards to manage the countryside on our behalf.” The donation came about as a result of Wild Justice’s attempt to judicial … Continue reading Disreputable ‘Wild Justice’ Lose Again
The countryside holds great appeal for anyone looking to take their business into another location. Find out why rural businesses are thriving. Pros and cons of running a rural business Running a business in the country has its benefits and drawbacks, but if you’re prepared to handle certain key issues, it can be a rewarding experience. Rural areas tend to have fewer companies competing for … Continue reading Running a Rural Business: Pros & Cons
BY JAMES BEMBRIDGE Regrettably I have come to the conclusion that most ramblers (at least those around here in Buxton and its surrounds) ask for directions simply to make sport of inconveniencing the locals. It is but one method of irritation in an arsenal of many. Others include an obstinate refusal to observe public footpaths, and – encouraged by shows like BBC’s Springwatch which present … Continue reading Buxton’s Rambler Plague
BY JOHN NASH Here are 30 reasons why the BBC – paid for by the British Public – should immediately cease its relationship with Christopher Gary Packham, or ‘Pinocchio’ as he has come to be known over the years for his repeated cock-ups and deceits: Pan’s Cartoons can be followed here. Continue reading Chris Packham – Serial Liar
BY STEVE GRANT As the Countryman’s Weekly reported last week, a major new report by scientists at the University of Northampton’s Institute for Social Innovation and Impact showed driven grouse shooting (DGS) had positive ‘ecological, economic and social’ impacts on rural communities, including increasing tourism, employment and biodiversity and combatting loneliness. The report, Sustainable Driven Grouse Shooting? A summary of the evidence is a brilliant … Continue reading Scientists’ Harsh Words
The University of Northampton – as many readers will know – was commissioned by the Uplands Partnership to produce a detailed and objective report reviewing the evidence on whether driven grouse shooting is sustainable. That report was published earlier this month. The aim of the report was to present the current evidence-based knowledge relating to the economic, ecological and social sustainability of driven grouse shooting … Continue reading Sustainable Driven Grouse Shooting
BY MARK CRUDGINGTON In July a UK sporting magazine published an article by John Gregson, former Editor of The Shooting Times and now ethics and sustainability advisor to Waitrose. Indeed it was John who announced in 2019 that Waitrose were to stop selling game shot with lead. John Gregson’s article was entitled, “Lead a poisonous issue”. John made a presentation to the world in 2019 … Continue reading Lead a Poisonous Issue?
Dear Editor, Let us consider this claim from the RSPB: The RSPB’s Investigations Section was instrumental in the creation of the police WCO network. Since then the network has gone from strength to strength. The following figures are now plucked out of thin air, but I suspect that I’m not far wrong. Let’s assume 95% of all reported Wildlife Crimes (WC) aren’t criminal acts. Of the … Continue reading Police are on a Snipe Hunt
BY STEVE GRANT The League Against Cruel Sports has had very little – well, nothing – to boast about over recent months but its coffers have to be filled. How else will they pay those hefty salaries for the top men? So, as usual, it’s stepped up its propaganda war against dog fighting, badger baiting and illegal coursing. Oops, silly me. Of course they haven’t … Continue reading LACS Continues to Put the Fake in Fake News
Dear Editor, I watched a television interview with Jeremy Clarkson recently in which he said that the eco-chuggers kept on getting the law changed thus making farmers’ lives increasingly difficult. Now they are after the gamekeepers and they will be after fishermen soon too. Noone pays much attention to them except for fellow eco-chuggers who have unfortunately infiltrated DEFRA and other organisations like the RSPB. … Continue reading Ignore the Deplorables
BY SARAH GREENWOOD Animals are fast becoming the means of waging a proxy war between all the disparate ideological groups who have jumped on the ‘fur baby’ bandwagon on the one hand, and the exasperated and bemused real time carers of the aforementioned creatures on the other, along with the owners of the land upon which they live who have been forced into justifying their … Continue reading The Modus Operandi of Sabs & Antis
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Tom was omnipresent on the River Yealm. I often wondered whether he was real, as sometimes one imagines the dead come back to earth for the day when lookalikes of the deceased pass by in buses and cars – dead ringers, one might call these day-trippers. Over these last years someone or something was expertly catching those brown and sea trout – … Continue reading Tom
BY STEVE GRANT Much has already been said and written about the Conservative Party’s new found love for animal welfare and, more worryingly for supporters of countrysports, animal rights. These worries deepened following the publication of Defra’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare. This spelled out the Government’s plans to formally recognise animals as sentient beings in UK law for the first time – a clear … Continue reading AR Lobbyists & the Tories
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Trying to brush up on eco matters in light of recent events, I took it upon myself to read Ian Coghill’s ‘Moorland Matters: The Battle for the Uplands against Authoritarian Conservation’ when the publisher, Quiller, sent through a review copy to the magazine. I chose well. This is a masterful book and it’s written in such a refreshing way. It offers such … Continue reading Moorland Matters
BY NIGEL BEAN Welcome to the ‘animal rights’ charity sector. Here’s the League Against Cruel Sports’ (LACS) story of selling misery to the British public…. We protect foxes but have not saved the life of one single fox LACS has not had an easy ride. Eight high ranking officials upped sticks and left having seen through the organisation’s lies. These included CEO James Barrington. He … Continue reading League’s Death Spiral