BY STEWART SLATER “To lose one by-election is a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness.” Although widely predicted, there are signs that Conservative MPs, facing the loss of the highest-paid job most of them are “qualified” for, are rolling out their headless chicken impression or, in another avian metaphor, starting to think that by failing to dislodge the Prime Minister in the recent confidence … Continue reading Don’t Panic!
BY SARAH GREENWOOD The truth about the ‘Trail of Lies’ cartoon produced by Keep The Ban, with Chris Packham and Peter Egan. The recent cartoon, ‘Trail of Lies’, produced by Keep The Ban group, is as slick a piece of marketing as you would expect from a one man band who founded an ‘organisation’ dedicated to bigging up its profile, and intent on making a … Continue reading The Founding Myth
BY CAPTAIN ED SWALES The Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act was passed in 2002 and whilst the title of this legislation sounds admirable enough, in fact its real aim was to do nothing other than ban hunting with dogs. At least this time around in the Scottish Government’s ‘salami slicing’ process of eroding our civil and rural liberties quietly and over a period of … Continue reading Hunting With Dogs (Scotland) Bill
BY JIM WEBSTER During first lockdown, behind the scenes, major retailers performed logistical miracles. As a farmer I’m not somebody who is prone to praise them, but in spite of ridiculous levels of panic buying (there are people out there who won’t need to buy toilet paper for another couple of years) the retailers managed to keep the show on the road. During lockdown I … Continue reading Too Little Wheat, Too Much Makeup
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN Last week, on Earth Day 2022, a gentleman called Wynn Bruce, an American Buddhist, set himself on fire at the US Supreme Court to protest the lack of action on – and lack of education to prepare people for – ‘the climate crisis’. Only one small newspaper reported Bruce’s death as being associated with climate issues. On social media many have been … Continue reading Saint Greta’s Flames
BY NOEL YAXLEY I have a confession to make. Although I am writing this for a rural affairs magazine, I personally know very little about farming. My own experience of farming extends to a combine harvester ride with a man called Donny when I was five on holiday on the North Norfolk coast. For a few hours on a hot Autumn day I got to … Continue reading LADS no Lasses
BY KEN GRIFFIN Dear Editor, Good day to you. A friend of mine took a humorous poke at me the other week and made mention of wolf reintroduction in Scotland, and it brings to mind something I have been working through my mind regarding the human species. I term it thus : The finite extent of otherwise educated rationale. This deals with the academic capacity … Continue reading Unintended Consequences
BY BERT BURNETT Dear Editor, We have a growing number of people having to choose between heat or food, relying more and more on food banks. Mental health issues are on the up alongside homelessness and child poverty, all apparently created in great part because there is not enough funding to cover the issues. By contrast over the last couple of decades we have seen … Continue reading Investigative Journalists, Where are You?
BY JOHN NASH To cook one badger you’ll need: Ingredients: 1 badger 1 glass of pig’s blood 1 small glass of armagnac 1 ginger root 1 bottle of dry, sparkling white wine 2 eggs 1 pot of crème fraîche salt and pepper 500g forest mushrooms OR chestnuts to accompany 100g butter oil Instructions: Eviscerate and skin your badger, and soak it in a fast-flowing river … Continue reading Badger Stew
BY ROGER WATSON I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of deadly daffodils I took my spade and dug them up In case they make the kiddies ill. I well recall the mass daffodil poisoning of children in the last century. Poorly educated in the ways of the … Continue reading Deadly Daftodils
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN I can honestly say that in the last two weeks I have been on the end of more abuse than in the rest of the weeks of my lifetime put together. It’s because of the defamation civil case of course. It’s a managed pile-on by sabs, trolls and misfits designed to break me and I suppose I should be milking it – … Continue reading Spread the Love
BY JOHN MACNAB This is the second in my series of recipes using fox meat as the main ingredient. Inflation is rising, energy and food prices are going up and people are looking for cheaper alternatives to butcher meat. What better than the ready supply of free meat available from our burgeoning urban fox population? Each recipe provides a different way of obtaining your fox … Continue reading Braised Leg of Fox
BY JIM WEBSTER On the agricultural front, so far nothing has really been said in the West, although I’ve noticed a couple of the papers starting to run stories about possible food shortages. Apparently the Chinese government, which seems to think about these things rather more than our governments do, has stockpiled 70% of world maize stocks, 51% of world wheat stocks and “enormous quantities … Continue reading Ukraine Effects: A Farmer’s Thoughts
Dear Editor, I was shocked to read an article recently which suggested that the Welsh Senedd planned for Wales to be country sports free by 2024. The decision was apparently made together with Natural Resources Wales. Over the next year the Senedd is to look at ways to implement a total ban. When challenged on their announcement, the Senedd refused to make a comment or … Continue reading Welsh Senedd’s Fieldsports Lunacy
BY THE EDITOR Dear All, Just a quick update on the Crowd Justice campaign for the ‘Packham 3’ – a crowdfund which goes straight to the lawyers which is progressing nicely and proving a very popular cause. The independent organisers have done a sterling job as we would expect given their pedigree and professionalism. Thanks to all who have contributed so far. If you’ve not … Continue reading Crowdfund Update: Cheers All
BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN It was one of the odder calls I have received: A colleague telephoned, “Dom there’s a witch from Wales after you”. “I thought Ruth Tingay was based in Scotland?” I replied, confused. “No, this is another one. An actual black witch animal rights loon! You know, as in evil black. Black Witch of Salem! The Witches of Macbeth! She runs a business … Continue reading Toil & Trouble
BY ROGER WATSON Over twenty years ago when I lived with my family in the halls of residence at The University of Edinburgh the best time of the year was the Christmas break when the students went home. Only a handful of families who served as wardens remained and we had twenty two frosty acres, under the shadow of Arthur’s Seat to ourselves. One evening … Continue reading Urban Fox Hunting: Worth Considering?
BY THE EDITOR Before this weekend I’d never heard of the group Hunting Leaks. They sound like a plumbing firm or a cabinet audit committee. As it turns out, a brand of incontinence pads would be more applicable. I was amused to hear that this group, replete with balaclava crusties and mad cat women, were so flustered as to concoct a ‘take-down’ of me – … Continue reading Hunting Leaks: Ministry of Lies
VICAR Dear Readers of Country Squire Magzine, I trust that You are Your families are well and that You are having a joyful and relaxing weekend. The snowdrops and daffodils are either out or emerging and as I write this I see more than an hour of sunshine for the first time in many days. This week then let us look forward to Spring. It … Continue reading A Prayer for Spring
BY ROGER WATSON The Lake District, that jewel in the Cumbrian crown of England, is a case study in how mismanagement of what transpired to be essentially just another virus can lead to near economic catastrophe. After all, Covid-19 did the usual things that viruses do. Although not exclusively—it hastened the demise of people whose demise was imminent along with people in certain ‘at risk’ … Continue reading The Lake District: How to Turn an Emergency into a Catastrophe