Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, We need Your wisdom. The Squires would be most grateful if You could have a serious think about the following questions and then leave your answer in the poll boxes below them. Thank You so much! Question 1: Due to unbearable Leftist political pressures – think Insulate Britain on speed – a Circus Owner is forced to give up … Continue reading Five Questions
BY JIM WEBSTER I don’t often apologise to the government of the People’s Republic of China but I confess I have been somewhat sceptical about their sincerity when it comes to cutting carbon emissions. But apparently they are trying. The government laid down strict limits on the amount of energy that could be used in various provinces. But when lockdown ended, there were a lot … Continue reading The Law of Unintended Consequences
BY JIM WEBSTER I’ve spent a lot of time with milk cows. Milking them isn’t a cheap hobby. A lot of dairy farms have a business model which resembles a hosepipe. You get in quite a lot of money from the milk cheque but then it moves down the hosepipe at speed, and sprays the money out to your suppliers and the bank. Hopefully enough … Continue reading Milking It
BY JIM WEBSTER Why would anybody be a lorry driver? The pay dropped because companies employed cheap labour from abroad. To an extent that is still happening with delivery drivers. We’ve had a charming Bulgarian man come into our yard looking for somebody else (we’re just the postcode). His only sentence in English was ‘I am from Bulgaria and don’t speak English’. To show us … Continue reading Keep on Trucking?
BY JIM WEBSTER I used to boast at one time that in our dairy herd we had every colour of cow, other than green. Green would be far too difficult to spot when out at grass. (Actually Black and White cows, in the early morning, can be damned difficult to spot when they’re standing against a hedge line. They’re woodland animals wearing woodland camo). But … Continue reading Cowman
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Like with most companies which Peter Thiel is linked to, PayPal is a seriously impressive operation. Certainly, it has no need to be supporting hunt saboteurs’ insipid grifts, which are so clearly bogus that one wonders how idiotic the sabs’ useful idiot following has become. Take two recent examples: PayPal has been told of these recent scams as have the UK authorities. … Continue reading PayPal a Lifeline for Scamming Sabs
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
BY JIM WEBSTER I’ve worked a lot with lorry drivers over the years. Normally we get the good ones, as the other sort don’t make it down the lanes. But at the moment there’s a shortage. Yet I can remember Bob Bojduniak of Farm Brief mentioning to me over twenty years ago that the various agricultural supply companies were telling him then that they struggled … Continue reading The Lorry Driver Shortage
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?
VICAR Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine I trust that You are well. As the heatwave cools I trust that You are having a good summer and I wish You a peaceful Sunday this day. This week I would ask that You consider rural communities in Your prayers. These communities have come under attack from all sides recently. Many parish churches have been closed or … Continue reading A Prayer for the Countryside
BY JIM WEBSTER There is a lot of discussion about food waste. I came across an article with the snappy title, “The UK wastes millions of tonnes of food every year: here’s how we can change that.” The article makes some useful points: “In the case of pig farmers in the UK, this system is causing an industry-wide crisis. UK pig farms are governed by … Continue reading Piggies Off the Market
BY STEPHEN PAX LEONARD Vaporised words linger in arid self-interrogation. There is an extended silence, a short sonata of raised eyebrows and then a meaningful grin. Ibbi, an Inuit hunter, sits in my freezing hut, patting his firm bulk full of seal meat. Implausible palindromes are whispered over black coffee, and jokes are shared about his embonpoint. Thin jokes, admittedly. Here we sit hour after … Continue reading Why Caring for the Environment is not ‘Woke’
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Walking along the seafront between two Devon villages, our walking companion warned us that a very black cloud was about to open up overhead, but we should not worry as there was a lovely café a couple of hundred yards away where we could take shelter. So we sped up a bit – with dogs and children in tow – and we … Continue reading Rain Trap
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 MARK BIRD In the second week of June I spent a week on and around The Strathy Estate (unmanaged), RSPB Forsinard and The Auchentoul Estate (managed primarily for stalking). The weather was excellent and below is the list of vertebrate species I either saw or heard over that time period. As impressive as the list may be, what was most notable was the sheer … Continue reading Managed Moorlands Wildlife Deserts?
BY JIM WEBSTER There are times you have to ask where all the grown-ups have gone to. I won’t say that the lunatics are running the asylum but there are a lot of people setting out the rules who obviously haven’t a clue how the world works. I know a chap who is going into hospital for an operation. He has to self-isolate first. For … Continue reading Townhouse Desk Rules
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 NICK PEARCE If you’re fed up with hearing nonsense like ‘horses chewing the cud’ on BBC’s Springwatch, there are some excellent alternatives out there if countryside watching is your thing and you like to have your grey matter stimulated by on the ground experts rather than script-reading presenters. One fellow who should have his own TV programme is Graham Denny. Graham’s a farmer and … Continue reading Free Springwatch Alternatives
BY JIM WEBSTER The BBC has been at it again, telling the world that government is paying farmers large sums of money to retire. OK so where to start? Let’s start with the money. The EU had a system of farm support. Because it was an EU scheme it was obviously worthy (at least to the metropolitan BBC crowd) and was supported by all right … Continue reading BBC Wrong Again on Farming