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NEWS

NATURE IN CONTROL

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May

There's a lot going on in the countryside by its occupants and for us not out there a lot to read up on...

Advice to the Stalking fraternity

There seems to be a few on who think that undertaking an outing to recreational stalk deer is allowed under the present guidelines.
At the present time we have all been asked to comply with the government restrictions to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. Staying at home means just that. It does not mean you can take your rifle out to go stalking. This in many cases means you need to travel to get to and from the land you stalk. IT IS NOT A necessity to do so.

If you live on a farm and are self-isolated then this isn't a problem. If its a large country estate where you reside, then one would assume others will live on the estate and therefore you will find they may have there own restrictions in place. But as the vast majority of you are recreational stalkers, the stay at home rule applies.

As a firearm owner you are deemed to be a RESPONSIBLE PERSON. If you take the risk and go stalking and are stopped with the firearm you may well find yourself in hot water with the police. If you receive a fine this will obviously be recorded and when you next apply for your renewal I would doubt that it would be renewed.

Be patient at home and not a patient in Hospital.

UK Open Seasons for Deer 

                                     England & Wales                                         Scotland                                           Northern Ireland

                                Male                      Female                    Male                      Female                      Male                      Female

Red
Stag/Hind   1st Aug - 30th Apr1st Nov - 31st Mar1st Jul - 20th Oct21st Oct - 15th Feb1st Aug - 30th Apr1st Nov - 31st Mar

Sika
Stag/Hind   1st Aug - 30th Apr1st Nov - 31st Mar1st Jul - 20th Oct21st Oct - 15th Feb1st Aug - 30th Apr1st Nov - 31st Mar

Fallow
Buck/Doe   1st Aug - 30th Apr1st Nov - 31st Mar1st Aug - 30th Apr21st Oct - 15th Feb1st Aug - 30th Apr1st Nov - 31st Mar

Roe
Buck/Doe   1st Apr - 31st Oct1st Nov - 31st Mar1st Apr - 20th Oct21st Oct - 31st MarN/AN/A

CWD
Buck/Doe   1st Nov - 31st Mar1st Nov - 31st MarN/AN/AN/AN/A

Muntjac
Buck/Doe   All yearAll yearAll yearAll yearN/AN/A

 

GENERAL NEWS

In what is being described as extremely positive news by four leading shooting membership organisations, Defra has described Wild Justice’s judicial review seeking to restrict gamebird releases as ‘vexatious’ and ‘pointless’.

Defra has asked the court to refuse Wild Justice permission to bring the claim and goes further in asking to be awarded its costs.

Defra’s hard-hitting submission is in response to an attempt by Wild Justice to substantially amend their judicial review to ensure that the 2021 release of game birds and the review currently being undertaken by Defra on gamebird releasing is not carried out unlawfully. Defra noted in its submissions to the court that Wild Justice are ‘shooting at the wrong target’ and should be refused permission to amend the judicial review.

A spokesperson for the four shooting membership organisations (BASC, Countryside Alliance, the Game Farmers’ Association and the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation), who are registered as interested parties in the case, said: “We welcome the fact that the Government has taken such a strong line in resisting this wholesale change of approach from Wild Justice. This judicial review is clearly misdirected in terms of the law and serves no purpose. Resources and expertise should be going towards reviewing gamebird releases, not unnecessary and pointless court cases.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has released guidance for people with animals, which is now published on GOV.UK.

Focusing on advice for pet owners and livestock keepers on maintaining the welfare of their animals during the coronavirus pandemic, we encourage you to share this advice with those who you think will benefit from it. 

There is no evidence of coronavirus circulating in pets or other animals in the UK and there is nothing to suggest animals may transmit the disease to humans. In line with general advice, however, you should wash your hands regularly, including before and after contact with animals. 

You can read the guidance in full here.

The Countryside Alliance backs calls by Environment Secretary, George Eustice, for a 'Land Army' to help feed the nation during the coronavirus crisis.

 

Our farmers and producers need you to help bring home the harvest and feed the nation as travel restrictions and tighter border controls around the world are having a major impact on the number of people willing or able to travel to the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is crucial that growers can provide enough British produce to our supermarkets and local shops, and need a 80,000 strong UK workforce to help farms harvest crops. 

The soft fruit-picking season is due to get fully underway in April and vegetable growers are already beginning to crop. These paid positions could provide an income for students, job seekers and anyone who has been laid off work due to the impact of COVID-19, such as those working in hospitality and catering.

To apply for a position near you, go to:

FROM THE PROFESSIONALS

BASC
COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE
BDS

We find ourselves in unprecedented times. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected nigh on every person, business and sector in the UK.

The shooting community is no exception. For many of you, field sports and the conservation work that goes with it, provide relief from the pressures of modern-day life – relief that, at present, cannot be enjoyed. But country pursuits are not just a hobby. For many they are a way of life – a way of life that we must all do our bit to safeguard.

We will emerge from this crisis. And upon doing so, many will wish to head for the hills, woodlands and glens – rod, rifle or shotgun in hand. Indeed, there may be no better antidote to the claustrophobia of present measures.

In order to do this it is crucially important that everyone pulls together. We must ensure that the current period of concern and uncertainty does not cause long-term damage to conservation or the livelihoods of those who form the backbone of the shooting community – nor to the continuation of the important work done by representative bodies, such as BASC.

I am, and have been for many years, a member, and now have the privilege of serving as the President of BASC. Over that time I have watched it work hard to protect and preserve the things that many of us will come to appreciate even more in the future: the conservation of quarry and habitat, our precious connection with the outdoors; the value of community in the countryside; the provenance of the food we eat.

Without your support, now and throughout the coming weeks, many businesses and organisations will suffer. Rural communities will bear the brunt. So, too, will the future health and status of shooting sports and the natural environment.

Who will be there to manage and conserve our countryside if gamekeepers are rendered redundant by a shortage of bookings for the season ahead? Who will fight for and promote sustainable shooting in all corners of the UK if our membership organisations do not continue to grow in might and influence?

There is much to look forward to when all this is over. Now is the time to support those who make country pursuits possible.

The Countryside Alliance backs calls by Environment Secretary, George Eustice, for a 'Land Army' to help feed the nation during the coronavirus crisis.

 

Our farmers and producers need you to help bring home the harvest and feed the nation as travel restrictions and tighter border controls around the world are having a major impact on the number of people willing or able to travel to the UK during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It is crucial that growers can provide enough British produce to our supermarkets and local shops, and need a 80,000 strong UK workforce to help farms harvest crops. 

The soft fruit-picking season is due to get fully underway in April and vegetable growers are already beginning to crop. These paid positions could provide an income for students, job seekers and anyone who has been laid off work due to the impact of COVID-19, such as those working in hospitality and catering.

To apply for a position near you, go to:

Following the decision to take deer management work in house from April 2020, the Forestry Commission has appointed Alastair Boston, Jamie Cordery and David Hooton to the Deer Officer posts.

All three already have excellent stakeholder relationships and networks across the deer community, a strong understanding of the issues within their areas plus a wealth of experience. David Jam, currently Executive Director of the Deer Initiative, has been appointed to the post of Deer Advisor to provide national oversight to the deer management work plus the development of policy, regulations and incentives. 

They will all work in co-operation with Forestry England, Natural England and key DI partners to enable collaborative, landscape scale deer management that will make a real difference in reducing the negative impact of deer on woodlands.

 DI Partnership - appointees to FC deer management roles

5/11/2020

COVID-19 restrictions update: Lockdown in England

Important note

Lockdown regulations apply throughout England from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December inclusive. This means that we expect shooting in groups, including organised game shooting, to be able to resume from Thursday 3 December subject to local and regional restrictions.

What is not permitted during the lockdown period

Driven game and other types of group shooting cannot take place from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December inclusive, as the new coronavirus regulations prevent gatherings of more than two people. England will return to a local and regional approach on 3 December and driven game shooting is expected to resume from that date subject to local and regional restrictions.

Leisure and sports facilities, including target shooting ranges and clay grounds are required to close up to and including 2 December.

What is permitted

Under the new coronavirus regulations, no person may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

Exceptions where a person may leave their home include:

  • Undertaking paid work, or to provide voluntary services

  • Animal welfare

  • Open air recreation

Essential bird and mammalian pest control to protect crops, livestock or conservation may continue during the lockdown period. Pest bird shooting must comply with relevant general or individual licences as applicable. Pest control services requested by a landowner or agent can be construed either as work (whether paid or unpaid) or voluntary service. The regulations do not impose any limits on how far you can travel.

Deer stalking as part of a management plan agreed with the landowner can similarly be considered as work or voluntary service. There are no legal restrictions on how far you can travel.....

GWCT

GWCT 15/11/2020 cont'... Game management and gamekeeping activities may continue during the lockdown period. Ensuring that birds under your care are adequately provided with food and water is important.

Recreational shooting activity such as informal rough shooting, wildfowling and recreational deer stalking may continue as ‘open air recreation’ but subject to strict legal limits on numbers. You may only participate in shooting activity with people you live with, your support bubble (if you are living alone), or one person from another household.

Government guidance advises that you should only make short journeys for the purposes of exercise and recreation – it does not define what distance they mean by this. You may not stay away from your home overnight to partake in recreational activity.

Non-essential retailers such as gun shops are allowed to trade remotely (online, mail order) and to provide “click and collect” services but customers are not allowed to enter the premises.

Other advice

When shooting during lockdown, we would advise taking a copy of your shotgun or firearm certificate with you and paperwork for your permission to shoot on the land you are on.

During lockdown local sensitivities can be high – be aware of how your recreation may appear to others. Although it is not a legal requirement you may want to log your trip in advance with Police on 101.

Everyone shooting during lockdown must consider the impact of their actions on the image and reputation of the sport. We all have a responsibility to comply with the letter and spirit of the regulations and guidance.

Government guidance can be found here with the regulations (legal text) here.

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