• Subscribe to Fieldsports Magazine
  • Subscribe to Fieldsports Magazine
  • Subscribe to Fieldsports Magazine
  • Subscribe to Fieldsports Magazine
  • Fieldsports Oct Nov issue
  • Fieldsports Oct Nov issue
  • Fieldsports Oct Nov issue
  • Fieldsports Oct Nov issue

Blame it on the weatherman

This summer will surely be remembered for the weather. Having been to Belvoir Castle a couple of times since the CLA Game Fair was cancelled, the site has now dried out, but the scars are all too obvious. And that’s without the impact of lorries, cars and footfall.

While making the decision to pull the plug must have been tough because of the obligation that went with it, there would clearly have been no option. Having vacated its regular July slot to accommodate the Olympic Games and moving forward a week it seems unfair that the Olympics bagged all the sunshine (though admittedly the opening ceremony certainly deserved the very best weather that we could muster).

Nonetheless, it was encouraging to see alternative events being held at short notice over the Game Fair weekend at EJ Churchill, Royal Berkshire Shooting School, the Oxford Gun Company, Perio Mill and other venues. So not all was lost in the end.

Alas there was no such reprieve for wild grey partridges in a year which started with the biggest number of pairs since 1976. High brood losses will be inevitable. However, for grouse it will be an average, rather than a record year, which is clearly much better than feared. Perfectly acceptable in fact – particularly if a juicy invitation finds its way through your letterbox, email still surely not an option for a communication of this sort! (though dear reader, I would take no exception if email is your preference…).

The poor summer has impacted on our sport in other ways too. Game farmers have struggled to meet the challenges presented by deluges of rain and cold temperatures. As a result, there is likely to be a shortage of birds – moreover many shoots have struggled to establish cover crops. Consequently, sporting agents will have either fewer or smaller days to sell – though interestingly the predicted widespread closure of shoots hasn’t happened. Yes, some have gone but there are new or expanded shoots which will fill the gap.

But as the latest issue of Fieldsports sets out, there is much to look forward to, and every reason to remain positive.

I do hope you have been able to get a copy of our summer issue. We are particularly pleased with how it has come together, and hope you enjoy it.

Mike Barnes

Shooting

How to return from bad form

simon ward high bird instructionSimon Ward shares his advice for getting back on track in game shooting after a slump of bad form. 

Read more ...

The modern sporting pheasant

Pheasant strainsUp and down the country, you will find die-hard advocates of every strain of pheasant from English blacknecks and French ringnecks to Michigan bluebacks. But is there such a thing as the perfect sporting pheasant? Marcus Janssen does some delving.

Read more ...

Gundogs

Advice for introducing your dog to the shooting field

overlooked_frontThere's much to consider when introducing your dog to the shooting field, says Ben Randall as he highlights the potential sticking points many fail to prepare for.

Read more ...

Super Sealyham terriers

rat dogsOver the past couple of years, countryside author and journalist Jeremy Hobson has fallen in love with working Sealyham terriers. 

Read more ...

Latest features

Adventures in the mean, green fishing machine

bentley motorsSwapping babies for Bentleys, Matt Harris headed to Iceland with his camera for a fly fishing trip with a difference.

Read more ...

Christmas nibbles and healthy tipples

christmas nibblesSarah Monier–Williams' crowd-pleasers for the festive season.

Read more ...

Fieldsports uses cookies. If you continue we assume you are happy to receive cookies. Cookie policy.