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What a season

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In all my years in the job, now around 37 years, I have never known such a season. The rain started in November and just continued. We are now at the end of February and it's still raining. The marshes on the shoot have been flooded since mid November and this put 7 drives out of commission for much of season. Normally this flooding over the grass meadows means a great many wildfowl coming in, but this time the sheer volume of water between us at Glemham and the coast has meant that the wildfowl have had such a choice of where to roost and feed that they have sparse. Indeed the first Canadian geese to show up came in just before the end of the season. Of course, they can now be shot for pest control reasons, but I do like the idea of giving them some time off.
As well as the rain the weather has been very mild, with no more than a couple of token frosts all season. This makes it very difficult to concentrate game, we seem to have lost those cold winters that I remember as a child and then a young keeper. Whether these return, we will have to wait and see.

The work on the shoot carries on. New cover crops and changes to old ones need to be planned. Equipment has to be collected and cleaned, and it is only a matter of weeks until rearing fields across the country and starting to fill with chicks. The year never stops changing, the seasons for the gamekeeper move on just as they always have.
Planning for next season is going well and I feel confident that we have a great time ahead.
That said, we do have a few weeks where we can slow down a little, take stock and try to improve where we can.
I feel confident about the coming year, there will be difficult times as always, but we are heading in the right direction all the time.
With some great new plans, please watch this space.