RAT & GunBuck News Page
Spring has arrived!
The range reopens on Sunday 16 April 2023, by appointment only, bookable online at
NB: Please book at least three days before your preferred shoot date.
BASC Press Release 15 March 2023
BASC gives evidence to government committee
BASC has given evidence on behalf of shooting and conservation to a government committee on post-Brexit environmental laws.
Dr Marnie Lovejoy, BASC’s head of evidence and environmental law, addressed the House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee following the submission of reports to government on how environmental law reform can promote shooting’s positive impact on nature and people.
Dr Lovejoy appeared as part of an expert panel alongside the National Farmers’ Union and Sustain.
“We are fighting for a level playing field for shooting post-Brexit and I was grateful for the opportunity to put our points across at such a high level,” Dr Lovejoy said.
“The questions focused heavily on the agriculture sector and also habitat protection and regulations post-Brexit.
“This was an excellent chance to advocate for the proposals and requests we made previously, which include a call for an end to the overly-cautious approach to Habitat Regulations Assessments when it comes to shooting activities.”
To watch the evidence session, click here.
To read a blog by Dr Lovejoy entitled ‘Shooting for a level playing field’ click here
BASC Press Release 10 March 2023
Peri and River sail to success at Crufts 2023
A Welsh springer spaniel has been crowned overall winner of the BASC Gamekeepers’ classes at Crufts 2023.
River, or Bowdonia Moon River JW to give her her full name, is owned by underkeeper Peri Burchmore from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire.
With entries to the BASC gamekeeper and other gundog handler classes up by almost 20 per cent this year, the event was hotly contested.
The top individual dogs owned by gamekeepers went head to head in a final show in the main arena, with Peri and River beating off competition from five other finalists to take the title of Best in Gamekeeping Class and the coveted Northesk Memorial Trophy.
Five-year-old River has reached the final for the past four years, finally taking the top spot yesterday.
Peri, who has recently taken over as working secretary of the Welsh Springer Spaniel Club, said it was “a dream” to have won with her “once in a lifetime” dog.
She said: “Winning the gamekeepers’ classes is something I’ve always dreamed of. River is an incredible dog. She goes beating and picking-up, she’s got a real can-do attitude.”
The gamekeepers’ classes are deeply rooted in the history of Crufts and BASC is proud to continue this strong tradition. BASC’s classes are unique to Crufts because they give handlers the opportunity to show working gundogs in their prime.
Peri and River, of Lenamore Gundogs, were presented with their trophy by BASC Council member Ian Grindy.
Mr Grindy said: “Well done to all of the winners of BASC’s gamekeeper and working gundog classes and thank you to everyone who took part. The day was hugely enjoyable and gave us a chance to show working gundogs to a huge number of people from all over the world.”
BASC’s head of game and wildlife management Glynn Evans said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s event. It was great to see so many people taking part in our classes this year and we were delighted to have seen such an increase in the number of entrants.
“We are grateful to have once again had the chance to showcase how special working dogs are to tens of thousands of visitors and to have been given a platform by Crufts to show them on a global stage.
“Congratulations to all the winners of the Gamekeeper and Working Gundog classes and well done to everyone who took part.”
BASC’s three rings at Crufts were sponsored by Skinner’s, who also sponsor the BASC gundog program.
Find out more about BASC at Crufts here: https://basc.org.uk/gundogs/basc-at-crufts/
'Shop' restocked for the season. Buy online and collect from the range.
Only six weeks until the range reopens, book online early to avoid disappointment!
BASC Press Release 20 February 2023
“Ideal time” to install duck nest tubes, says BASC
BASC is calling on the shooting and conservation community to help with its duck monitoring project by building and installing nest tubes.
Duck nest tubes offer security and protection for breeding ducks, such as mallard, and have been proven to increase hatching success rates. Through the monitoring project, BASC aims to learn more about nesting successes and aid the conservation of the species.
Sophie Stafford, BASC’s science advisor, said: “Mallard nests are often destroyed before the eggs have a chance to hatch through predation, trampling from livestock or disturbance from dog walkers.
“Elevated off the ground and over water, nest tubes offer security from the elements and protection from predators and disturbance. These tubes have been shown in other countries to boost hatching success.
“With ducks soon to begin pairing up, now is the ideal time to build and install duck nest tubes.”
The project statistics from 2022 showed a 48 per cent occupancy rate from 225 nests, of which 98 per cent had signs of successful hatching.
Sophie said: “The significant hatching success highlights the role duck nest tubes can play in conserving mallard and other breeding ducks. Our priority now is to keep growing the occupancy rate through learning more about why tubes are taken up and increasing the number constructed.”
In the last year, BASC’s regional staff have hosted duck nest tube workshops for larger projects with wildfowling clubs, local groups and colleges.
Sophie continued: “Clubs, organisations and syndicates should contact their BASC regional office to enquire about workshop availability to help increase the number of nest tubes installed.”
Eight weeks to go until our first practice shoot of 2023!
A couple of hours of recovering targets today and tidy-up tomorrow, weather permitting.
Work has commenced on the range, only nine weeks until we reopen! Already over half the lanes are booked.
CPSA or CTSA?
The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association is asking for members' opinions on whether they would vote to change the association's name to The Clay Target Shooting Association. I have my opinion but not being a member I would not be eligible to vote. I wonder how many members will vote to change the name, hopefully not too many!
While the name change is considered, it gives The CPSA time to rename the various types of clay targets like springing teal, driven pheasant, bolting rabbit, crossing pigeon, dropping duck, etc. That will be interesting! LOL!
BASC Press Release 12 January 2023
Firearms licensing is in crisis, BASC tells Parliamentary Committee inquiry
A “largely unprofessional, overburdened and poorly resourced police licensing service puts public safety at risk”, BASC has told a Home Affairs Committee inquiry into policing priorities.
BASC’s written submission to the inquiry is a broad sweeping critique of the current situation across the 43 firearms licensing departments in England and Wales.
The inquiry is focusing on the state of policing in England and Wales, highlighting low public confidence and damaging high-profile cases. It will examine what a modern police service should look like and how to ensure the highest standards amongst police officers.
BASC’s submission, which has now been published, concludes:
“Firearms licensing is in crisis. The 43 licensing authorities in England and Wales are unable to manage their workload, with some refusing to process grants and many taking more than a year to process renewals. A largely unprofessional, overburdened and poorly resourced police licensing service puts public safety at risk.”
Bill Harriman, BASC’s director of firearms, said: “Although firearms licensing is only a microcosm of the total policing output, the issues raised by the Home Affairs Committee are reflective of the current licensing system we are witnessing.
“While the committee will most likely stick to producing higher level recommendations, BASC felt it necessary to feed its view of the current state of firearms licensing into the process.
“BASC’s written submission will make tough reading for many chief constables and firearms licensing managers. It highlights the current delays and significant inconsistencies across the 43 firearms licensing departments.
“BASC proposes the establishment of an independent regulatory body to oversee licensing departments. This will help begin to rebuild trust with the shooting community and boost performance and standards - key aims of the Home Affairs Committee’s inquiry.”
BASC Press Release 12 January 2023
BASC’s scholarship programme open for 2023 applications
Applications are now open for this year’s BASC Legacy Funded Scholarship Programme.
Now in its fifth year, the scholarship programme is one part of the BASC legacy package that helps support people who want to develop their knowledge of conservation, land management or gamekeeping.
The scheme is open to any college or university student studying, or wishing to study, conservation, land management or gamekeeping within the UK and the Isle of Man.
Each applicant can apply for a grant of a maximum of £4,500 a year for the length of the qualification or three years, whichever is longest, to help them continue their education.
Curtis Mossop, BASC’s head of education and outreach, said: “BASC continues to provide support by removing financial barriers which could otherwise halt a young person’s educational journey to their dream career. Given the current financial climate, the potential lifeline which the scholarship may provide is immeasurable. Since the programme’s launch in 2019, we have awarded close to £50,000 in scholarships to students across the country studying a range of courses from diploma level through to Master’s Degree.
“To date, the scholarship has supported study specialisms such as gamekeeping, conservation, ecology and fisheries management but we welcome applications from all land management courses.”
For more information on the scheme and to apply, visit https://basc.org.uk/training-and-education/basc-legacy-funded-scholarship-programme/
The closing date for applications is 2 August 2023.
Five Basic Airgun Safety Rules
Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
Always point your gun in a safe direction.
Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
Be sure of your target and what’s beyond.
The Range Reopens Sunday 16 April 2023
Practice from Sunday 16 April 2023.
Experiences & lessons from Saturday 22 April 2023.
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I'm just about to start getting things ready for the range's reopening in April.
The first job is the repair the moveable targets, they got a little shot up in the bull's eye area.
Won't look as good as when they were new but hopefully look a lot better than they do now.
Can't believe it was 2 years ago when my daughter helped me make them!
BASC Press Release 3 January 2023
Young gundog handlers urged to enter Crufts 2023
Young gundog handlers are being urged to enter this year’s Crufts competition, with the event being described as ‘unforgettable’.
Thirteen-year-old Tallulah Dyson, who has successfully competed on multiple occasions, said she could not recommend Crufts more and was keen to urge other young gundog enthusiasts to enter.
Crufts 2023 will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from 9-12 March. The BASC classes will take place on Gundog Day, Thursday 9 March. There are two young handlers’ classes - under-14s and 14-18-year-olds - and entries are open until 23 January.
Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and wildlife management, said: “Crufts provides a window through which the wider world can see working dogs on a global stage. It gives the participants of the young handlers’ classes in particular an unforgettable experience and a great family day out. Enter this year’s Crufts and you will not be disappointed.”
Tallulah Dyson said: “I really enjoy picking up with our labradors and it is always exciting to have an opportunity to show them off at Crufts. I could not recommend the event more as it is such a fun day out for everyone. I really enjoyed seeing all the different dog breeds and it is nice to bump into other gundog enthusiasts outside of the shooting season. The dogs have a lovely day out socialising and eating lots of treats!”
Photograph: Tallulah Dyson, 13, & Fern at Cruffs in 2020
New Years Day 2023
Just called in at the range, took a quick photograph, weathering well!
Happy New Year!
Shoot safe, stay safe.