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The FieldThe Field

The Field Jan-2019

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.

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why our wildlife needs shoots

AS I converged with two beaters, working from the opposite end of the new cover strip, a covey of nine wild grey partridges flushed and slipped out of the side. Three of the corn buntings that had been in mind when the cover’s mix was selected watched proceedings from the telegraph wires, along with a mix of linnets, yellowhammers, chaffinches and goldfinches(pictured). That strip may have been planted for the shoot but in common with thousands of others it was delivering a much broader wildlife benefit. The 2016 report by consultants PACEC on the economic and environmental impact of game shooting estimates that deliberately planted game-cover crops amount to 25,000 hectares in total across the UK. With an average size of an acre, that means there are around 60,000 individual plots…

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art in the field

SPORTING art is generally about sport but now horse sculptor Tom Hill’s latest work has gone a step further: it’s made from sport and in aid of sport. Hill’s life-size racehorse and jockey galloping is made entirely from old racing plates, which have been donated by the farriers, trainers and owners from flat racing’s HQ, Newmarket. Better yet, every shoe is sponsored by racing lovers in order to raise money for the Injured Jockeys Fund’s (IJF) latest fitness and rehabilitation centre, Peter O’Sullevan House, which is currently under construction at the British Racing School in Newmarket. The first of what it is hoped will be three horses fighting out a finish was unveiled in the autumn by Injured Jockeys Fund president AP McCoy. Poised in mid-stride at full gallop, the sculpture is…

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field notes

A small sporting estate in the Yorkshire Dales, started from scratch, is the worthy winner of the 2018 Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation. Judges praised Helen and Rob Brown for their passion, energy and enthusiasm in turning Howesyke, an intensively managed hill farm, into a “perfect sporting estate in the uplands of England”. Over the past decade the couple, working with Natural England, have successfully regenerated the grouse moor on the farm, planted nearly 100,000 broadleaf trees over 250 acres, repaired and built 1.3km of dry-stone walls, restored 900 acres of peat, created five new wetland habitats and re-established black grouse. Judges said the remarkable diversity of species on the farm “is unquestionably a result of an outstanding blend of conservation and shooting”. Red grouse numbers have increased as have numbers of…

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owners planting wider range of trees

Woodland owners are diversifying the species of trees being planted to combat the threat of climate change, ash dieback and damage from grey squirrels, according to a new survey. The Insight Report from the Royal Forestry Society found nearly half of respondents are already planting a wider range of tree species than they were five years ago. Of those who were not, 63% are actively planning to do so in the next five years. Sixty different species are being planted to mitigate threats to tree resilience. Among popular broadleaved varieties listed were wild service tree, cherry, field maple, hornbeam and lime, alongside non-natives such as sweet chestnut and black walnut. Other owners were planting more exotic alternatives, such as eucalyptus (pictured), Italian alder and southern beech. Among the 20 conifer species mentioned,…

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in brief

PHEASANTS FEED THE NEEDY The Country Food Trust hopes to raise £100,000 by March to meet demand from charities for its pheasant casserole and pheasant curry. Since it was founded in 2015, the Trust has provided more than 130,000 game meals. This winter it hopes provide an additional 75,000 and is appealing to donors, charitable trusts and the shooting community for support. Visit: www.thecountryfoodtrust.org DUTCH MASTERPIECES ON SHOW The final stage of the National Trust’s exhibition of Dutch art opens at Petworth House in West Sussex on 26 January (until 24 March). On show are 24 works from Trust houses around the country, including Dutch paintings on loan from the private collection of Lord Egremont never seen in public before. For tickets call 0344 249 1895 or visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/petworth EEL PASSES INSTALLED ON SEVERN Eel…

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award-winning river restorations

River restoration projects in Suffolk, Cumbria and Somerset were recognised at the 2018 Wild Trout Trust Awards. A restoration project on a tiny stretch of the Lark, Suffolk’s only chalkstream, won the contribution to wild trout conservation award. The Bell Meadow Project is one of a dozen projects undertaken by the River Lark Catchment Partnership to encourage wild trout to spread throughout the chalkstream. Alerted to the poor state of a stretch of the river in Bury St Edmunds by a resident, volunteers cut a new, smaller, meandering channel in the cemented riverbed using jet pumps and forks. The felled tree material overshading the river was staked down to form a new low bank. After the work was completed in December 2017 the river began to behave naturally again, depositing silt and sediment…