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  1. 2018 has to be the busiest year for our shoot that we have ever experienced. We moved our rearing field closer to the house for security purposes and also for the farmers. This meant moving 20 odd sheds with verandas attached almost 2 miles, down a track by tractor and then building brand new sheds for pheasant chicks along with lots of other jobs that needed doing. Some how we managed it and also broke a new record for the number of birds shot at Glemham.

     

    Once the 2017/2018 season was over it was straight on to woodland work. This involved clearing spaces for pegs, coppicing, clearing the ground for undergrowth to come through, chopping down old trees, making way for the new and lots of fires! When we do woodland work we always stop at lunch for a cuppa and sausages cooked on the fire.

     

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    Mum and dad (Mark and Sue) eating sausages straight off the fire. Yum!

     

     

    There is something rewarding about harvesting wood for your fire at home, even more so last year. When it snowed in March 2018, people contacted Mark as he had a tractor to get their cars unstuck, he also delivered logs to some local people who couldn’t get any and had run out.

     

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    Out at 6am clearing some of the back roads so people can get to work

     

     

    When the woodland work was finished the team at Glemham, started moving and making sheds ready for the chicks to arrive in May. This was a long process and involved a lot of people from the keepers to Trudy, Robs girlfriend, Roger and Peter who come along to help out during the year. Once the chicks arrive, its all hands on deck, day and night, until the birds are released in August ready for the shooting to start in September.  

     

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    Sue painting the shed before they're put up

     

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     Rob, Peter, Mark and Kimberly putting the sheds up, I don't know what we would do without that tractor!

     

     

    In the summer months we run dog training classes for our beaters and picker-ups. It’s a chance to get advice, for our dogs to socialiseand also a get together once a week in the evenings. We get puppies, inexperience and experienced dogs mixing, younger dogs sit and watch and do a bit of basic training and the older/more experienced dogs do retrieves. It’s nice to get a chance to watch dogs work, even if it is just finding a dummy or a tennis ball.

     

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    All sitting patiently 

     

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    The Glemham Hall Shoot fashion trend when you've forgotten your walking boots and you've got Le Chameau wellies with neoprene lining on.

     

     

    From the beginning of September until the end of January we run driven, mini driven, walked up, duck flights, gun dog training days and gun dog trials.

    In September 2018, Rob, one of the under keepers, had his first grandchild arrive, Elowyn. This was exciting news to us all as we had known Will, Robs son, since he was born. I am only a year older and we grew up living next door to each other along with Robs daughters, Rachel, Jenna and Abi.

     

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    Whilst the keepers were running a shoot day, Trudy and I had a stall at the Aldeburgh Food and Drinks Festival which is held annually at the Snape Maltings, just down the road from our shoot. We had a refridgarated counter and sold partridge and venison. This proved to be extremely popular and we were sold out before the end of the day. Day two of the festival, we stocked up on venison but were unfortunatly sold out of partridge due to popularity and it being the beginning of the season. It was a warm and sunny day so there were lots of people shopping around for local food. We were part for the Wild Suffolk marquee where head keeper, Mark and our chef, Roger, did a cooking demonstration and a talk on the Sunday. This is a great chance to get out to the general public what game keeping is all about.

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    One of my favourite days from last season was our last walked up day in January. We had a lovely team of guns who supplied lunch for everyone, including the keepers and beaters and we ate it round a fire in one of our woods.

     

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    We plan to build an open cabin with a fire pit for next season. Mark has spent some time in France at boar shoots where this is very common. It's lovely to be out in the woods and have lunch cooked on an open fire.

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    Thank you to everyone for their help over the last year, it is greatly appreciated. Bring on next season!

     

    Kind Regards

     

    Hannah Howard

    Glemham Hall Shoot Ltd Secretary

  2. I thought I should look at the writing of shoot leases. This is something that never really crossed my

    mind until about 4 years ago and when I started to understand what was involved suddenly became

    quite a subject that affected me more in the last 3 years than in my whole working life.

    When I first came to the shoot in Norfolk I was a single handed keeper for a syndicate, they were all small business men and this was at the time of the 80s recession. It was apparent from the start that everything was run on a shoestring budget, and it was not too long before they packed the shoot in and left me with no job. So I had a choice, look for another job or take on this shoot. Well the long and short of it was that I took the shoot and the agreement was jotted down on the back of a Woodbine packet. That was it, a handshake and a few notes. You can have a gentleman’s agreement but you have to be dealing with gentlemen. Not only that but there is also the legal aspect to consider and the situation I found myself in when the management changed.

    After 20 years on the same shoot I was under the impression that they would carry me out of this place in a box. I was here to stay, my daughters were born here and we were happy. Then it all changed. Suddenly the new management wanted contracts, rules on numbers released, compensation for crop damage and above all a massive rise in land rent. Because there was no written lease they could only insist on this but I could not prove what was agreed to originally. The legal advice that I took was about 50-50. While they could not prove what I was not entitled to, I could not prove what I was entitled to. I had my home, business, family and employee’s to consider and nothing in writing. Everything had changed. Over a course of time it became apparent that my business would close, but the difference was now I had a written contract. And thank goodness I did. The contract enabled me to leave the shoot and to be protected by a number of business tenancy laws which I was able to use so that I did not lose out financially.

    On a legal footing I never actually had the shooting rights in writing until the lease was put in  place but when a cap was put on the number of days I could run but the rent was increased, the profit margin made it impossible to run the shoot any longer as a business. This was a double edged sword. Looking back, the situation inspired me to do more, to look outside the shoot and the first move was to make the deer stalking company a separate entity from the shoot. Deer Stalking in England ltd  was formed to be completely separate from shoot. Then I started to look around and sure enough an opportunity arose to take the lease on a superb estate, to move my business, staff, guns friends and family.

    So what of the new contract?  

    Well the first realisation when I got to Glemham Shoot in Suffolk was that I was wanted, and because of this fact, the contract or lease, was thrashed out by us all and on equal terms. There was room for negotiation. I was able to put my side forward, rent versus shoot days, number of birds released and number of shoot days and the use of the dining room in the hall for meals and use of particular buildings for rearing and storage.

    The long and short of it, am I happy with the new shoot? Well yes, in fact I couldn’t be happier. It is a wonderful place with so much potential and I intend to make it into the premier shoot in Suffolk. I have no interest in second best, I simply want this shoot to be the place to be and a waiting list as long as my arm for syndicate places.

    Quite a lot to ask? Yes I suppose so, but with the wonderful people I have the good fortune to work with and the Cobbold  family doing all they can to help, I have no doubt that I will achieve my goal.