An often misunderstood industry, field sports in the UK are usually deemed as elitist activities. Here we debunk a few beliefs about the country based sports.
'Many Shots Go To Waste.’When letting fishing and shooting, the guest paying for the experience is often the main income for the sporting provider. However, you would be surprised at the number of by-products that come from country sports. Aside from the fantastic free range meat source that is processed for restaurants and food retailers around the country – Deer pelts can be tanned as hides, antlers used for dog chews and stick making, game bird feathers used to make brooches and other creations, tripe used as part of a healthy dog’s diet – or if you’re brave you could even try it yourself!
In fact, the Country Food Trust is a foundation that works to provide game meat to those in poverty. The foundation uses the meat to produce highly nutritious meals that are full of flavour, and for every meal purchased they vow to donate another to those in need across the country. With a primary goal of feeding 1 million people, the Country Food Trust is proof that no shots need ever go to waste. Endorsed by Sir Ian Botham – who intends on donating 10000 game birds for processing to the foundation – shows the trust has the backing it needs to fulfil its goal helping those in need.
Country sports are exciting and social activities – which bring the added reward of sourcing your own foodstuffs. Respect for their quarry, the environment and a major appreciation for Mother Nature are generally at the heart of every keen sportsman’s ethics.
‘Country sports are for the rich and elitist only.’This is a common misconception of field sports in Scotland and the rest of the UK. In fairness, certain types of sports can come with a rather high price tag – however, this certainly doesn’t mean that it’s refined to the very wealthy. Speak to anyone that participates in field sports and they will most likely encourage you to get involved! More initiatives are being put in place to make it easier for complete beginners to get involved, for example, the Country Sports Tourism Group offers a wealth of information specifically aimed at people looking to get into the sport – with ½ day beginners ‘experiences’ available in Perthshire and Angus. In addition to this, the website lists opportunities available from over 200 sporting providers – starting at as little as just £2 per day.
In fairness, certain types of sports can come with a rather high price tag – however, this certainly doesn’t mean that it’s refined to the very wealthy.
It must not be forgotten also that going beating (flushing birds from cover) on a driven shoot day is a great way for anybody to get involved, meet other sporting enthusiasts and make some extra pocket money in the process!
Think again! Ten years ago this statement would have been considered valid – but certainly not anymore. Yes, it’s still a male-majority that takes part, but it’s an ever-changing demographic landscape that’s moving forward with the times. More and more ladies shooting clubs are appearing in Scotland with women from all different backgrounds, of different ages, shapes and sizes taking part. Shooting live game might not necessarily be your thing, but why not have a look at one of the following links for ladies clubs and clay-shooting events for great opportunities to give the sport a go?
‘Shooting is a man’s sport’
It’s still a male-majority that takes part but it’s an ever-changing demographic landscape that’s moving forward with the times
- Scottish Ladies Shooting Club, (Perthshire-based with events across Scotland):
- Thistle Ladies Shooting Club, Aberdeenshire:
- Glad Rags and Cartridge Bags, Aberdeenshire:
http://www.jommevents.com/diary-of-events/BASC Ladies Shooting, UK-wide: https://basc.org.uk/ladies/
‘Using Land For Country Sports Only Benefits The Landowner’Contrary to popular belief, country sporting in Scotland is generally not a money-making exercise for the land owner – in fact, it can be quite the opposite. Managing land in Scotland for field sports requires equipment, materials and manpower that will usually translate into business and employment opportunities created in the local area – with significant costs at the landowner’s expense.
Have you ever wondered how the bracken on the riverbank is neatly strimmed? Or why there’s a perfect pony path away out in the hills?
In addition to this, many of the paths and hill roads used by the general public are maintained and monitored by the local sporting estate – have you ever wondered how the bracken on the riverbank is neatly strimmed? Or why there’s a perfect pony path away out in the hills? They also benefit the tourism industry; through the winter months when many hotels and restaurants in rural areas would otherwise be struggling for business – country sports enthusiasts flock to the Scottish countryside from all over the UK and the rest of the world and spend money in local businesses. I could (and others have) write all day long about further environmental and economic benefits of field sports in the UK but this gives a little food for thought.
‘Game meat isn’t readily available.’Many believe that game meat can only be enjoyed in luxury restaurants, but they would be mistaken. When in season, Game meat is readily available - just check your local butcher or the supermarket shelf – however, this lack of awareness means it is not always picked up resulting in lower market demand, widespread publicity and less regular use. Next time you’re grocery shopping – why not ditch your usual beef or chicken and consider something a little different? Wild game meat is varied but as a general rule, it’s usually lean with a more distinct taste than more commonly used meat; swapping in venison mince in a dish as simple as Bolognese will give you a healthier, arguably tastier, version of an easy mid-week classic.
Our in store Butchery stocks a range of meats, including a selection of Game Birds when they are in season. These are available online, in-store, and can also be ordered over the phone should you prefer. Our selection includes Pheasant, Grouse and Partridge, nutritious meat that is the perfect addition to any meal.
Here at The House of Bruar, we are keen to encourage our customers to enjoy venison, game meat and other locally sourced produce from country sporting estates. A wide selection is available online and in-store, though if you wish to contact the team directly on 01796 484946 you are able to place an order for this or any other products from our Food Hall and Butchery.
If you are keen on country sports or fishing or are interested in becoming more involved, then visit us in-store where we have a wide selection of technical and specialist clothing. We also have our Fishing Department, which is dedicated to everything you need for a fishing trip. Our team of staff are highly knowledgeable in these areas and are more than happy to provide you with any advice.