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The FieldThe Field

The Field Oct-2018

Published by Time Inc. (UK) Ltd The Field is a monthly glossy magazine dedicated to those brave souls who shoot, fish and hunt way beyond the call of duty. Since 1853, its staff has selflessly brought its readers the cream of rural life, be it pheasant shooting, dry-fly fishing or the distinct merits of Cheval Blanc. If you love field sports, errant terriers and very foxy friends at hunt balls, The Field is for you.

United Kingdom
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access_time5 min
the impacts of a poor season

Angus Turnbull, one of the fortunate this season YOU don’t have to travel far through Scotland’s shooting communities to feel the anguish when prospects for a season are poor. With an estimated 70% to 80% of shoot days cancelled, there’s no hiding from the harsh consequences of the Beast from the East, followed immediately by the hottest, driest spell for many years. To appreciate the impact on estates and rural businesses you need only to listen to the voices on the ground.Philip Mackenzie, owner of Farr estate in the Monadhliaths, tells an all too familiar story. “At Farr we would hope to have 15 driven days per season and four or five walked-up days. This year we have cancelled all grouse shooting. Our 15 driven days would have…

access_time4 min
art in the field

Windblown (OWEN WILLIAMS) Flighting Flushed Scolopax , watercolour and gold leaf on vellum WITHOUT much regard for whether the word exists or not, Owen Williams describes himself as a “crepusculophile”. A quick check online shows that it doesn’t. Asked to define the term, he says: “I have always loved the dusk. Really that was what inspired my first sporting painting, when I was 15 or 16 years old. I had read Peter Scott’s Eye of the Wind and that made me want to seek the excitement of being outdoors, to experience for myself those sounds of the wind and the geese. I made myself a decoy out of polystyrene tiles and painted it in teal colours and…

access_time1 min
field notes

Work is underway to reopen more than 150 miles of breeding habitat for fish on the rivers Severn and Teme. The £19.7m “Unlocking the Severn for People and Wildlife” project is being run by the Canal & River Trust, Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Natural England.Physical barriers on the Severn, Britain’s longest river, are being rerouted, enabling 158 miles to be reopened. This will benefit the river’s salmon as well as the threatened twait shad, which is only found on the Severn. Hundreds of thousands of these fish ran the river each May before weirs were built in the 19th century. Figures for the 2018 migration, carried out at Upper Lode Weir in Tewkesbury, suggest the run is now below 10,000.In July, work started at Powick and Knightsford…

access_time1 min
hen harrier success on grouse moors

A record number of hen harrier chicks were raised on grouse moors this year, helped by a new management licence for the endangered bird. Defra’s figures show 21 of the 34 chicks raised this year fledged from land managed for grouse shooting. Last year there were no nests on grouse moors and only three successful nests in England, which produced 10 chicks.Under Defra’s hen harrier brood management scheme, if a landowner has two nests within 10km of each other, one lot of eggs can be taken for captive hatching. The harrier chicks are returned to the moors when ready to fledge.Andrew Sells, chairman of Natural England, described the increase in hen harrier chicks this year as “truly remarkable” and said the figures show that “responsible management of grouse moors…

access_time1 min
in brief

FORESTRY AWARD WINNERS The Duchy of Cornwall’s Aconbury and Wallsbrook woods in Herefordshire and Broomhill Wood in Gloucestershire – a 10ha woodland bought by the Wilkinson family in 1980 – have received Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry Gold Awards. Broomhill is managed on a continuous cover basis and hosts educational and charity events. YOUNG HANDLER PRIZE A delighted Alice Herniman, 14, from the Tiverton Staghounds, collected first prize in the Young Handlers Class at Honiton Hound Show. She received the award from judges Captain Ian Farquhar MFH and Patrick Martin, hunt staff liaison officer for The Hunting Office. “We’re delighted to see so many young handlers and also the huge interest from the public in this new class,” said West of England Hound Show secretary Peter…

access_time1 min
farmers help our forgotten flowers

Conservation charity Plantlife is working with 50 farmers across the country to save 13 arable flowers. Farmland flowers have declined by 96% over the past 200 years and many – including the pheasant’s-eye (pictured) – are only seen in localised pockets. Once a common feature in cornfields, this striking red flower was so abundant it was sold at Covent Garden market as “red Morocco”. Today, it is only seen on the chalky soil of Wiltshire and Hampshire, especially around Salisbury Plain and Porton Down, where it flourishes on the undisturbed military grounds.Plantlife has joined forces with the RSPB and Kew to launch the “Colour in the Margins” project, which aims to restore England’s dwindling arable wildlife habitat. Farmers in arable hotspots are encouraged to leave corners and edges of…