Fieldsports meets feature film making at Cornish gun shop In the Cornish countryside, Fieldsports meets feature filmmaking. At an open day to celebrate the extension to Ian Hodge’s shop, my film crew came along too. Many of you will know me as a news correspondent for Fieldsports Channel but I am also a film director. We will be shooting a scene of my […]

Gamekeeper battles DEFRA over pheasant release – GL43 appeal Gamekeeper Steven Musk is one of the lucky ones. DEFRA granted him a licence to release birds near a Special Protection Zone. It’s one of only a handful that have been issued. More than 100 shoots are not so lucky. They usually put down pheasants and partridges within 500 metres of a European-designated SPA […]

The 2023 Game Fair: home of the fieldsports fightback The Game Fair 2023 at Ragley Hall was a celebration of the best of British field sports and country life. More than 100,000 people attended  the event in Warwickshire. It was three days of fun for shooters, families, friends and four-legged friends. But storm clouds are gathering for Fieldsports. The threats to the rural […]

Gamekeepers’ curlew chick success by Deborah Hadfield Kill the foxes and the curlews will thrive. That’s the conclusion of gamekeepers at an Irish Grouse Conservatiom Trust project in Northern Ireland. Curlews are a rare sight in Northern Ireland. Loss of habitat has put them in decline for decades. They came off the quarry list in the province in […]

UK anglers land UK bluefin tuna fishing season after DEFRA dallying by Deborah Hadfield Sportfishing for bluefin tuna is back. Skippers say landing the English CHART 2023, catch-and-release program, was a monster fight. Delays and lack of funding threatened its future. Defra dallying led to a last-minute announcement which is causing issues for some skippers. The good news is that, in Cornwall, 25 vessels are […]

Call to arms on new firearms licensing consultation BASC says a new firearms consultation on firearms licensing is the most important in 35 years. The Minister for Crime and Policing Chris Philp launched an 8-week consultation on June 29th. BASC is urging shooters to respond so that the shooting community has a voice in decisions that will have an impact for decades […]

Delays in GL43 licences threaten gamekeeping jobs

There should be birds ready for the shooting season. But this shoot on Salisbury Plain is in limbo because of the chaos surrounding general licences. DEFRA announced a last-minute change which means shoots near some protected sites need a licence to release birds. BASC says the new rules affect hundreds of shoots. BASC ‘s chief […]

Gamekeepers are the unsung heroes of conservation Curlews are under threat. The Game and  Wildlife Conservation Trust says in some areas of the UK their population is declining by 17% a year. But the GWCT says that on land managed  by gamekeepers, their numbers are increasing by 14% a year. Roger Draycott of the GWCT says: “The curlew is the bird […]

Shooting groups mount battle over new gamebird release licence in England by Deborah Hadfield Gamekeeper Steven Musk is on the frontline of a battle which could cost him his livelihood. His shoot in Swaffham in Norfolk is close to the Breckland Special Protection Area, SPA. After a last-minute change by Defra on 31st May 2023, he is now forced to apply for a licence to […]

Kennel Club pushes for electric dog collar ban Essential tool or harmful to a dog’s welfare? Electric shock collars divide opinion. The Kennel Club says it expects the Westminster government to ban them from 2024. The Welsh Government banned them in 2010 and, in 2018, the Scottish Government issued guidance on not using them which had no legal standing. Dave Templar has […]

Devon and Cornwall gun licensing fiasco At the beginning of 2023, Devon & Cornwall firearms licensing looked like it was getting its act together. Now local shooters say the fiasco with firearms licensing has flared up again.  They say the force is chronically behind on renewals. Multiple shooters across the two counties, who have been on temporary section 7 tickets […]

Rewilding Wales threatens nature, fieldsports and farming An invasion of Wales is underway. Large companies, many of them based in London, are buying up land to use carbon credits. It has doubled the price of agricultural land in Wales, in the last year. The Countryside Alliance says the Welsh Government is allowing rewilding and the planting of thousands of trees on […]

How the RSPB causes the biggest British wildfires

At a time when governments spend billions on reducing the amount of carbon that goes into the atmosphere, two organisations are still pumping it out. Thanks to their policies on controlled burning, the RSPB and the National Trust are causing more, not less, of the climate change they say they are committed to stopping. The […]

Welsh shooting consultation threat to rural way of life Deborah Hadfield A rural way of life under threat – politicians are targeting farming, shooting, land management and conservation. The Welsh government is calling the shots. People on the ground are rebelling. For 100s of years, farmer Gareth Wyn Jones’s ancestors have fought the elements on their hill farm in North Wales. Now Gareth […]

Charles III, King of the countryside The world watched the coronation of the new foxhunting, polo-playing, gameshooting and deerstalking king. The coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey achieved a peak audience of 20 million people in the UK and many times that number abroad. The royal couple are both passionate about the countryside and fieldsports, including […]

When animal lovers turn to hate and violence When animal lovers turn to hate and violence they call it ‘caring’. When Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones posted a film on social media, showing techniques he uses to help a ewe adopted a lamb, he suffered a wave of hate abuse, including death threats, all in the name of ‘caring’, for animals, for […]

How IFAW’s ‘Room to Roam’ project will lead to elephant attacks on people by Deborah Hadfield Elephants are big, beautiful but bad neighbours. In southern Africa, local people know how dangerous they can be.   Award-winning author Sue Tidwell, who wrote the book Cries of the Savannah, says they need to be managed because they can be destructive. She says: “They eat so much, and they cause a […]

John Muir Trust culls deer worth more than £100,000 out of season

by Deborah Hadfield The John Muir Trust has culled more than £100,000 worth of deer on a single highland estate. That’s the conclusion of a freedom-of-information request by local crofters The JMT used out-of-season licences to shoot animals on its Quinag estate in Sutherland. It is a blow for the Assynt Crofters Trust, or ACT, […]

Firearms licensing: what British shooters want Broken, badly funded and not fit for purpose: that’s the verdict on the firearms licensing system in England and Wales. But BASC and politicians who understand the importance of shooting sports to the economy, the environment and countryside communities, believe it can be fixed. MP Sir Bill Wiggin says the government should consider introducing […]

Game shooting under attack in Wales by Deborah Hadfield Fieldsports groups say it’s the thin end of a wedge that could extend to the rest of the UK. Wales plans to ban, then license game shooting. The Welsh government’s rural agency Natural Resources Wales proposes to issue licences for all gamebird release. To start with, it will be a general […]

Trophy import bill is racist, says MP by Deborah Hadfield Bill Wiggin MP is leading the opposition to a private members’ bill by MP Henry Smith to ban the import of hunting trophies. It’s not just conservation madness in the name of animal rights, it’s racist, too. He says: “I am very, very sensitive about racism. And I spoke out against […]

Game meat fuels top restaurant’s success by Deborah Hadfield Game meat, venison and duck are helping a Cornish restaurant fly high.  The magazine Condé Nast Traveller voted the Ugly Butterfly at Carbis Bay Hotel one of the top restaurants in the UK. Part of its success is sourcing game locally.  Head chef Connor Blades says they source their meat from […]

Why Henry Smith MP’s trophy imports bill is already obsolete. by Deborah Hadfield Would you like a lion in your living room? You won’t be breaking any laws if you do – not even the upcoming private member’s bill by MP Henry Smith in Westminster to ban the import of hunting trophies.  These lions are flawless, realistic fakes. They can be designed to be […]

Battle of Quinag in Scottish Highlands heats up by Deborah Hadfield Crofters in the Scottish Highlands are asking: ‘Is it a cull too far?’ as the John Muir Trust uses out-of-season licences to shoot deer at night on the Quinag estate. The Assynt Crofters Trust, or ACT, depends on the animals for its commercial deer stalking operation. Now it plans forcibly to […]

Firearms licensing in the spotlight at the British Shooting Show

by Deborah Hadfield Shooters came face to face with firearms licensing officers at the British Shooting Show. Officers from three police forces, Devon & Cornwall, West Mercia, and Warwickshire went to the 2023 event in Birmingham to meet shooters. The police staff were there to help with variations and offer practical advice on how to […]

Scientists warn trophy hunting ban would be ‘catastrophic’ On the hunt in Africa: Ed Sargeant is a Brit and new to hunting in Africa. Guided by trainee professional hunters from the Northern Cape Professional Hunting School in South Africa, he is out for his first stalk. Ed says: “We saw a small group of springboks. We followed them, but they just kept […]

Government to pay shooters to kill foxes Managing predators is a daily battle for farmers, gamekeepers and landowners. Now the government signals it will recognise this effort and pay shooters for the work. It doesn’t say when or how much, but it includes predator control in the latest round of proposed farm subsidies. Foxshooter Mike Dickinson, who runs Calton Moor Range […]

Battle over ‘tax break trees’ A Scottish estate covered in Fieldsports News has sold for £10.5 million to a rewilding company. Highlands Rewilding bought the Tayvallich Estate in Argyll. It raised part of the money through crowdfunding. The new owner says it plans to restore the 3,500-acre estate’s ‘natural environment’. It already owns two Scottish estates, Bunloit in Inverness-shire […]

Thugs attack hunter over Daily Mirror article Essex businessman Syed Rizwan is a conservation hero. That’s what hunters call him. The father-of-three pours hundreds of thousands of pounds into wildlife and biodiversity projects worldwide. Anti-hunters take a different view. They call him ‘scum’ and ‘filth’ among hundreds of repulsive emails, messages and phone calls. Syed Rizwan funds conservation all over the […]

Threats to shooting: the fightback

Fieldsports groups claim shooting is under threat from over-regulation: you can’t shoot a magpie in Wales but you can in England, the Scottish government plans to restrict the use of gundogs, and DEFRA wants a ban on lead airgun pellets. Those are just a few of the pointless new laws affecting shooting. Aim to Sustain, […]

Bird flu and the 2023/2024 pheasant shooting season The bird flu outbreak in the UK is tailing off, and prospects for wild birds are improving. Dominic Boulton, from Aim To Sustain, says there is reason for hope in 2023.  He says: “Throughout October, we were running at about 21 outbreaks a week on average. That dropped to 14 in November, and we’ve […]

Lead ammo ban will dash Olympic hopes The Westminster government’s new, heavy handed approach to banning lead pellets and bullets will be a disaster for rimfire and airgun shooting. That’s the conclusion of the National Smallbore Rifle Association, GB governing body for disciplines using this ammunition, many of which are Olympic sports The NSRA says a lead ban could be disastrous […]

UK government plans tuna sportfishing ban Landing a giant bluefin tuna is a challenge – not least because anglers around the UK have only been allowed to do it for the last two years. The CHART programme, funded by the Westminster government, licences some tuna sportfishing boats in Devon, Cornwall, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.  Now tuna anglers are facing […]

Top prof says why animal rights extremists are wrong about trophy hunting

Professor Adam Hart speaks up for hunting tourism. He is one of the few British academics brave enough to support regulated trophy hunting. Science says that hunting tourism works for wildlife – but the professor’s support for it draws abuse from anti-hunting academics. For celebrities such as chimpanzee expert Dr Jane Goodall, who used to […]

RSPB lies and the language of hate

The RSPB president says that shooters are ‘subhuman’, a senior RSPB official tells lies about raptor persecution to a live audience, and the RSPB ‘bird crime’ report is a catalogue of hate speech aimed at gamekeepers. Deborah Hadfield talks to Andrew Gilruth of the Regional Moorland Group, Ian Danby of BASC and Gary McCartney of […]

Why one woman wants more people to go big game hunting

by Deborah Hadfield Emma Stander believes that big game hunting needs an influx of women. She says it would boost the hunting business – and that it’s up to her to share the reality and beauty of hunting to attract them. The 19-year-old, who lives in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, says: “I […]

Human cost of bird flu by Deborah Hadfield Kevin and Val Russell run Hawkstone Falconry in Yorkshire. With the bird flu outbreak following two years of covid, businesses such as theirs are struggling. For Val, the issue is made worse as her work was a lifeline after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Working with the birds boosted her […]

Woodcock shooting: how Wild Justice is trying to ban it by Deborah Hadfield it is one of the most challenging birds you can shoot in the UK. Woodcock shooters are considered among the elite of rough shooters, prepared to travel great distances and at short notice when they hear that ‘the woodcock are in’. Woodcock shooting is not commercial like pheasant, grouse and partridge. […]

Bird flu 2022: what should shoots and shooters do?

by Deborah Hadfield The UK is facing its largest ever outbreak of avian influenza. DEFRA confirms more than 170 cases in less than 12 months among captive birds. The latest outbreak in Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex has seen the disease at 16 poultry premises. It’s a notifiable animal disease, which means you report […]

Firearms licensing crisis warning With the firearms licensing system in crisis, barrister Nick Doherty fears there’s an increased risk of a tragic incident.  Nick, who wrote The Firearms Law Handbook with his wife Laura Saunsbury, says: “I say that with a heavy heart. I don’t want that to be the case. But no system of firearms licensing is […]

Why does the conservation industry want to kill off African wildlife? Answer: cash by Deborah Hadfield The role of trophy hunting in conservation and the economic survival of communities in Africa is in the spotlight. A new film produced by South African film producer Phillip Hattingh focuses on Namibia. The inspiration for his documentary The Eco Colonialists – an Exposé came back in 2020 when, in the […]

Northern Ireland hunting ban: battlelines drawn

by Deborah Hadfield For a people who have seen more than their share of fighting, the anti-hunting lobby is drawing up new battle lines. In 2021, the Northern Ireland Assembly rejected John Blair’s private member’s bill which sought to ban hunting wild animals with dogs. The Stormont Assembly has been unable to sit since the […]

HM Queen Elizabeth: a country life

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had a lifelong love of the countryside. Born in Mayfair, she once told a friend that, if she hadn’t been Queen, she would have loved to have to lived in the Trough of Bowland in Lancashire. From childhood she was immersed in shooting sports and has always had a particular affinity […]

BASC firearms licensing overhaul by Deborah Hadfield It’s time to scrap the existing gun certificate system across England and Wales and replace it with another.  That’s the conclusion of a BASC review that included a series of Freedom of Information requests to find out the scale of the crisis that firearms licensing faces. In a new report, BASC […]

Dog trainer lams into the Kennel Club

Controversy over force-free approach to gundog training by Deborah Hadfield There’s a growing split at the heart of gundog training, and it centres on the Kennel Club. Steve Moran has been training dogs for more than 30 years. He works with dogs from all over the country at his kennels in Cheshire. Steve, who runs […]

Scotland snare scare

by Deborah Hadfield The Scottish government is considering the future use of snares. It has approached a range of fieldsports groups for their views. However, the Scottish Countryside Alliance is concerned that the consultation on snaring could be the first step to it being banned. Currently, you need Scottish government ‘accreditation’ to use snares in […]

A car hits a deer every seven minutes in England In the UK, in 2022, you are twice as likely to hit a deer than in 1997. That risk has gone up fourfold since 1980. The government-funded Deer Initiative estimates there could be up to 74,000 road accidents involving deer each year. Deer vehicle collisions injure hundreds of people and cause more than 16 million pounds […]


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