‘Since I was 8 years old I haven’t missed a seasons beating’ – Ellie Cross, East Sussex
At the age of 8 years old I got introduced to beating. It was purely accidental as I was causing a few problems in the pheasant pens behind the caravan we would stay in every weekend. The gamekeeper found out I was the culprit and so he decided to show me what it was all about. Since that day I haven’t missed a seasons beating.
I have been with the same shoot ever since, however I do try and get out to as many different places including shoots in East Sussex and Kent.
For 9 years I actually ran our beating line at the shoot I started at in East Sussex and was responsible for getting a team of beaters together every week, ensuring they were in the right places on the day and at the right times while ensuring the guns got enough birds over them.
I counted up after each drive and ensured guns were happy. I would make sure that guns were aware of total head counts at the end of the day and also had their hand-picked brace to take home.
I did this even while pregnant and raising my daughter. Due to it being a syndicate they all got to watch my daughter grow and develop into a mini me. She still comes with us to this day and I very much enjoy teaching her how and why we do what we do, ensuring that she is educated about country life and is respectful of the countryside and its wildlife.
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