grouseOur Chief Executive Tim Bonner writes:

The 2016 grouse season, a successful one in many parts by all accounts, may have closed last week, but we are reaching what many people would consider the prime of the shooting season.

The leaves are off the trees, the pheasants well grown, and migrant wildfowl and waders have returned from their distant summer haunts. Even better with the holidays nearly upon us there should be opportunities to get out with the gun.

My plans for the next few weeks involve Essex marshes and West Wales woods with family and friends, but I have already been lucky enough to record a ‘red letter day’ in my game book this season. On a pleasant but seemingly hopeless goose shooting evening in Lincolnshire two pinkfooted geese chose to cross the marsh over the spot I was hiding, and even more surprisingly one of them fell to my first shot. To shoot my first pinkfoot on the foreshore with the vastness of the Wash laid out before me was a special moment, and also a reminder of the generations of wildfowlers who have hunted those geese in that environment before us.

Whether we shoot, hunt, fish, or just revel in our wonderful countryside we are hugely reliant on those who came before us, and who created and conserved so much that we love. Equally we have a responsibility to those who will come after us to conserve, but also to protect from the increasing pressures of population and politics. That is why the Alliance exists and our shooting campaign has had a busy year which is summarised in the 15 ways we have improved and supported shooting in 2016.

Thank you for supporting us this year and I hope you all have ‘red letter days’ in the weeks ahead.

Follow Tim on Twitter @CA_TimB

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