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The Packham 3 Summary of Outcome of Case Management Conference

Interesting developments on the case which the Packham 3 Fundraising Team have just sent through to us. It gives the main points and a summary of the Case Management Conference held on the 30th of June. It also mentions releasing further updates as the case progresses over the next few weeks.

Summary of Outcome of Case Management Conference

On Thursday 30th June 2022 there was a case management conference for our case attended by our barrister. Packham’s side saw fit to send five lawyers, including two junior barristers, for the hearing which began at 1030 a.m. Following a slightly extended break over lunch, it finally finished just before 1800.

The morning dealt with the question of whether the parties should be allowed to call experts to address certain aspects of the case. While the afternoon dealt with the cost’s budgets, including the proportionality of Packham’s half a million-pound budget.

Next Steps

The Master has now made Directions for the next steps in the action, and we were pleased with the outcome of the hearing. The headline points arising from the case management conference are:

  1. Packham did not want there to be expert evidence on any of the key issues in the case, which have developed in our Defence and his Reply. Despite his protests, the Court granted permission for us to use three experts. The basis includes us serving further particulars of our case along with our expert evidence, after which Packham will serve his own particulars and expert evidence. This will have to take place by the end of September 2022. Our experts will address three issues. Firstly, an analysis of Packham’s handwriting to test our allegation that he faked his own death threat letter. Secondly, to look at the scientific evidence as to whether keeping big cats in the circus is inherently cruel. And thirdly, evidence relating to whether muirburns (which are used to maintain grouse moors) result in the burning of peat. In relation to the second and third issues, we will also give details of our case about Packham’s alleged knowledge of these issues.
  2. The trial is going to take place between 1 May and 31 July 2023, so we won’t be rushed into a trial immediately after Christmas as Packham wanted. We were sad to hear that this will potentially interfere with Packham’s filming commitments. He argued this justified an early trial. However, this timescale gives us the opportunity to gather support for our case, and funds.

Costs

  1. The Court made an adverse comment on the costs of Packham issuing and pleading his case. These were part of the £160k in costs that he incurred before the Court could exercise any kind of control over them. The court ruled these were “distinctly high” and that a costs judge should consider any explanation given in relation to them very carefully.
  2. The Court also ruled that Packham should not be instructing two barristers and adjusted his costs accordingly, although his costs remain intimidatingly high, and are at levels which his own barrister (in another case) called “life-changing”.

The Case continues

The case continues. We shall update you as and when there are further developments. We will also go public with the further particulars of our case (mentioned in 1. above) as soon as we can. Thank you very much indeed for your support so far. Let’s keep the donations coming.

Kindest regards.

The Packham 3 Fundraising Team

Link to the update

CrowdJustice: The world’s crowdfunding platform for legal action

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A Statement by the Admin Team of Countryside Fightback Website

There have been malicious attempts by Packham’s trolls, in particular one called Serenwyl Roberts from Rhymney in Wales, to pin Countryside Fightback on the Editor of Country Squire Magazine, Dom Wightman.

Of course, this is a lie. It’s a strategic lie to imply that Mr Wightman is not following defamation law protocols, which of course he is.

This blog is run by a team who are wholly independent of the Packham 3. Mr Wightman has never contributed to or been a part of the Countryside Fightback team.

While we wish to remain anonymous so as not to have to deal with the plague of trolls and other ne’er-do-wells that pester the 3 defendants, we can confirm that the 3 defendants are nothing to do with our work.

We contacted Dom Wightman and got this message back in response:

“Sorry that you guys have been accused of being me and that the silly trolls have been on your backs. I wouldn’t worry. If Truth were a dartboard their darts would continually hit the wall. They are playing into our hands because they are demonstrating concerted harassment in fundraising. Just laugh at them. They are not even master baiters. No point responding to them or trying to illuminate them – trolls never see the light anyway. If they cause you any trouble, let me know and I’ll give you the email addresses for the police involved in investigating them.”

We have also been informed by The Packham 3 Fundraising Team that there will be some interesting developments in the next few days as more details about the case are to be released. WATCH THIS SPACE

We are all supporters of Mr Wightman and his colleagues as should be anyone with any sense. The fundraising links to help fund their legal team follow below:

Crowd Justice

Ko-fi

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Fundraising Events

Clay Shooting Fundraising Event

We have been working hard in the background and are pleased to announce we are now ready to help support anybody who wishes to host a fundraising event for The Packham 3.

We will be able to advertise the events on here, design posters and also set up the events on the Countryside Fightback Facebook page, Countryside Fightback and also on the Twitter Account CountrysideFB.

Here are some suggestions of events people might want to consider running. Fun Rides, Fun Dog Shows, Open Farm Days, Ferret Racing, Dog Racing on a Lure, Scurries, Sporting Day Shoots, to name just a few.

We are also pleased to announce we now have an inhouse artist who is donating their work for free. We are extremely grateful for their generosity. They will be able to create a scene which depicts the event you want to host.

The artwork shown above is our first commission which is to advertise a Sporting Day Shoot at a Clay Shooting Club. We are just in the process of finalising the details of the event in the next few weeks so watch this space.

All enquiries on events or suggestions of other types of events people might want to consider hosting please contact us here. Contact – Countryside Fightback

If you would like to send someone a copy of this article please use the form below:

    The Packham 3 Online Auction

    We have had news from the Packham 3 Fundraising Team, and they are asking for your help.

    They have just signed up to and will be launching two online auction sites which they will be aiming to go live on Monday 1st November. All money raised will be going directly to the Solicitors via transfer directly from the Auction sites.

    So how can you help? They have already had some very generous donations, but they would like to see if you would be able to help to get even more donations in.

    They can be physical items, books, paintings, hunting/shooting/fishing equipment or memorabilia, a box of meat or a hamper. It could also be a voucher, a dinner for two or more, a clay shoot lesson, a guided wildfowl flight, a day’s shooting or stalking, a ride out with a Hunt, a day’s fishing, a visit and tour around a farm or hunt stables, a lesson in butchering just to name a few. It could also be to provide a service for example a day’s ratting, half a day’s gardening.

    If you do have any items, you are willing to donate then please get in touch with us vis the contact form and we will pass the details onto the Fundraising Team.

    Thanks all and please get sharing round your friends and colleagues and let’s see if we can get those donations rolling in!

    Contact – Countryside Fightback

    Direct donations to the Packham 3 Fundraiser below.

    https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/the-packham-3-defamation-defen/

    https://ko-fi.com/packham3#

    Megan McCubbin on Shooting

    Megan McCubbin on Shooting.

    “Every year, 35 million pheasants and partridges are released in the UK countryside for shooting.”

    No doubt you’ve all seen this video, now read the facts.

    There are no accurate numbers available so the “35 million pheasants and partridges” is an estimate, or a guess. Activists rarely share information so this guess varies widely depending upon which activist(s) you listen to. The table shows the best guess by APHA following a Freedom of Information request from the Hunt Sabs Association!

    “They’re bred in captivity and live in the worst intensive conditions imaginable. One bird has the space of an A4 piece of paper in which to live.”

    As we can see from the table above the vast majority are hatching eggs, while the remainder are day old chicks. Neither of which would need the huge amount of space accorded by an A4 page.

    Bill Trimming

    “Their bills are trimmed and they will never fly up until the day that they’re released. And when they’re released, they’re totally inexperienced.”

    Bill trimming is not unusual for a variety of birds, but it is a thing of the past for game-birds, as discussed in this GWCT report. Imagine trimming the bills of a thousand birds? What an absolute nightmare! As for flying, of course they don’t fly until release, they’re in a pen! This also accounts for their inexperience. Usually they have a couple of months to acclimatise before the shooting season starts but neither pheasants nor partridges are great flyers and take flight as a last resort.

    “They’re unable to find food. So many die due to starvation. They die because they get injured and left or because they get onto the roadside and get killed by cars.”

    Pheasant Feeder

    Of course they can find food, although it may take a few days for a normal foraging pattern to be attained. In the meantime they’ll have feeders spread around their area. According to a GWCT study very few starve and, of the 25% that die before shooting starts most are predated. Primarily by foxes. Injury in the wild is part of nature, and birds are no different to other species with respect to cars.

    Shooting

    “That is if they’re not shot. Every day, 100,000 of them are killed, not all of them collected. So they are left to suffer and die in agony after a lifetime living in unimaginable conditions.”

    According to the GWCT less than 40% of pheasants and partridges are shot so 100,000 shot a day is clearly a made up number. Plus, for every shoot that fails to retrieve a downed bird there are hundreds more shoots assiduously checking none are left behind and all end up on someone’s plate.

    “Imagine that being raised in a space so small to be let out into the wide world, to face that reality, it’s not okay. And this kind of shooting is not a sport. A sport is where you have two teams, both equally prepared. One side here has guns. The other has no hope whatsoever. There’s no sporting about it. It’s just for the enjoyment of it. And it’s not okay.”

    This is nothing more than opinion, and it’s wrong. If you have ever tried to shoot pheasants or partridges in flight you’ll find it’s a damned sight harder than it looks.

    Overall, this video is embarrassingly inaccurate, as expected from the usual suspects.

    Contemplation and Belief for Fieldsports

    We want all fieldsports to continue, a guest blog below calling for action.

    The Grouse Shooting season is well underway.

    The start of the Game Shooting season is a great celebration of the British Countryside and its Uplands. It supports thousands of people’s jobs, homes, futures, businesses and their economic successes.

    There is a darker side, from which a threat looms, it is forever present and it’s never likely to go away. That threat my friends comes from the anti-fieldsports individuals and groups.

    These individuals and groups include Chris Packham, Wild Justice, Wild Moors, The League Against Cruel Sports, Animal Rights Activists, Hunt Sab Groups and Radical Veganism to name but a few. Of course, these groups and individuals are fully entitled to an opinion. They work hard to push their agendas and they fight hard for what they believe in. We have all seen it or have been affected by it. Hunt trail days ruined, Grouse Shoots brought to a halt, Gamekeepers and their families threatened and being constantly under fear from masked anti field sports terrorism. Their beliefs are fully backed up by passion.

    OK, so what about us? Above all, what about our beliefs and passions? What about our sport, my sport, your sport? Are your beliefs fully backed up by passion. I really do wonder if they are… Why aren’t we all as individuals fighting back to protect promote and defend our sport and our way of life? I am absolutely convinced that the antis are more passionate about their cause than we are about ours.

    As a Fieldsports Community we have 3 main enemies.

    Apathy, Ignorance, Ourselves

    Apathy – All these antis won’t affect me. I only shoot a few rabbits and train my dogs for Field Trials

    Ignorance – A total lack of knowledge and information as to what’s going on right under your noses and we carry on without a care or a thought about the future of Fieldsports.

    Ourselves – Posting pictures up of Big Bags, dead Deer, blood-soaked Foxes, 2000+ bird Pheasant Days. Afterwards gloating and boasting about our so-called victories in the Shooting field, for instance. All we are doing is spoon-feeding our enemies with the information they need to get the General Public and the ones sitting on the fence on their side.

    What the hell are we doing to ourselves? Why aren’t we giving what we do some serious thought? Our Fieldsports are under threat and yet we just carry on as if we had a divine right to do what we do without impunity.

    Fieldsports are changing, shooting is changing. Therefore, we have all had to change and we all need to pull together irrespective of our chosen fieldsports. We have enemies, organisations and individuals, that are working tirelessly to bring us down.

    We need to take our heads out of our arses and act!!!!

    Play your part and be part of the future of Fieldsports and stop relying on others to do the work for you.

    An example of a group doing some practical work is the Action Against Antis Group.

    Get your friends and families motivated by helping to raise awareness and funds for the three people. See Country Squire Magazine ‘The Packham 3’, for details. They are risking all they have to remove Field Sports Enemy No1 from all of our lives. Moreover, they are by fighting back with facts.

    Please think about the future of fieldsports. In doing so you will help to protect, promote and defend the sport that we all hold most dear… 🙏

    Have a great season everyone. Long may our fieldsports and shooting seasons continue, which they will with your belief and passion..✌☝🤜🤛

    You can, instead, make a payment directly to the Solicitors where your details will obviously remain strictly confidential.

    Contact – Countryside Fightback

    SHOULD WE FIGHT FOR HUNTING?

    A guest blog on should people be fighting for hunting.

    November 18th, 2004 was the day the Hunting Act was passed in Parliament by the then Prime Minister Tony Blair and his Government. It will be a day I will always remember for the wrong reasons. The hunting world was in complete shock and soon after that, the Act came into force on February 18th, 2005.

    That day every hunt up and down the country came out in solidarity, to stand shoulder to shoulder, to show the world we didn’t intend the ban to be an easy one. Nor were we prepared to just walk away from our way of life. Grown men were in tears as hunts met at 7am and hunted until 7pm when the ‘gone home’ horn was finally blown.

    Where are we now?

    Fast forward 17 years and we are still here, although sadly some hunts have succumbed. Some due to high financial costs, or lack of hunting ground. The Government, and others, are hell bent on putting a house on every inch of countryside until we become a concrete country. No thoughts for landowners and farmers there then.

    Rightfully or wrongfully, especially after the false allegations against Mark Hankinson, there is now an even stronger reason to protect your rights, heritage, and history. But more importantly, the long lifeline of your hounds. Hunting needs to be more transparent to show the non-believers that we do, and will, follow the hunting act. But then, why should we?

    Why should the snowflakes, townies, and those who have no idea about hunting, dictate to you how you should go about your daily life? Why should they tell you that you cannot continue your lifestyle just because they have no idea how it works?

    Who the Hell do they think they are?

    Hunting has been a way of life since the caveman. Why should farmers and landowners be told you cannot manage the vermin on your land because the snowflakes, have no understanding of the reasons they do this? Not forgetting, it’s old fashioned and outdated, supposedly. The distraction and financial loss are outstanding if you do not manage the countryside against vermin.

    Let’s not delude ourselves, thinking that if we bend to the will of activists that will be the end of it. It will not. Activists like Chris Packham, saboteurs, the League Against Cruel Sports and now Animal Rebellion, have more in their sights. Fishing will be next, then shooting, plus farming as we know it along with farm animals. Why? Because it’s the burping cows that are killing our planet, supposedly.

    Chris Packham has recently released a video of himself promoting the work of Animal Rebellion. They recently poured milk across the floors of Harrods and caused mass disruption in London just weeks ago, with no concern about people’s welfare or livelihoods. I can’t bring myself to talk about his video anymore, but the time has come for us to focus on the BBC for employing an activist that lives his life by fuelling aggressive demonstrations with his lies, propaganda, and lack of knowledge.

    Non-peaceful protesting is growing at a fast pace during the hunting season, but we tend to turn a blind eye. Typical stiff upper lip British people, such as we are, should never be swayed by violence and thuggish behaviour. Behaviour directed at us by the likes of Packham and saboteurs,

    The big question is, how far and how long are you prepared to let this go?

    If we don’t start to fight back NOW, we will lose it forever. The choice, as they say, is in your hands. We must fight fire with fire, we don’t need hangers-on or fence-sitters. We must expose these people for what they are. They are determined to take our rights and freedom away, take our livestock and livelihoods away from us.

    Many snowflakes have no idea what happens on a hunt. My usual question to them is, ‘When you go out hunting, how many times have you seen a fox ripped to bits or shredded?’. Their answer to this is ‘Oh, I never go hunting ‘. End of conversation.

    What makes my blood boil is that Tony Blair, in his autobiography, said the hunting ban was one of his biggest mistakes of his premiership. This was the result of a private bet he had with Prince Charles.

    Why not overturn the Hunting Act?

    How come the act cannot be overturned? Why are PMs not overturning the act when in power? David Cameron, Teresa May said they would. So did Boris Johnson, but then he is married to an activist.

    Are you prepared to fight for your rights, your livelihood? Will you come out once again and stand shoulder to shoulder? The answer should be a resounding YES.

    Dom Wightman, editor of the Country Squire Magazine, along with two of his colleagues, are fighting for what you believe in. They are defending themselves against a defamation case Chris Packham has brought against them through a civil court action. This must be the greatest opportunity to expose him and his dishonesty, to stop him spewing such propaganda and to rid of him from the BBC.

    They cannot do this alone.

    The date for the court hearing has been set for May 2023.

    THEY NEED YOUR HELP.

    REMEMBER, SHOULDER TO SHOULDER.

    We can only win this and carry on if those of you who are true to yourself stand up to be counted. Stand up for your beliefs, your rights, your livelihood, your countryside, and fight for it. Are you loyal enough to see this through, to fight and support the Packham 3? You can, by donating to, and sharing, their good cause. You really need to have a serious think about your actions or non-actions to save our history and way of life 

    Sir Winston Churchill once said, “CARRY ON HUNTING”

    So, if it’s all the same with you lot, I don’t mind if I do.

    https://huntingkind.com/

    Confirmed Court Date for the Packham 3 Case

    Last week the Packham 3 received an important date for their diaries:

    “A 7-day Trial on the above-named matter has been fixed for the 2nd of May 2023”, came the note from their Barrister’s secretary.

    So, there it is. The defendants have 9 months before the trial of their lives begins. That is 9 months to raise the best part of £200,000 in legal fees, to make sure their evidence is all in order and that their legal team is ready.

    A busy nine months

    These 9 months will be massive. We shall keep you all updated as events unfold. There are expert witnesses, disclosure and case management conferences to come before the High Court appearance in May. 

    The Fundraising, Research, Investigations and Security Teams finally all have a set date to work to. The PR Team, which has been waiting in the wings all this time, now comes to the fore. A press officer appointment shall be made in due course.

    “Good to have a date,” declared Dominic Wightman aka Defendant 1, when he was told of the court date. “This has been dragging on since March 2021 and by the time it’s all over we will have waited over 2 years before we can defend our published articles. The road has many obstacles to meet but good things come to those who wait!”

    Please continue to send in your donations and spread the word. The wider awareness we get, the quicker we get the case fully funded ready for the Packham 3 defendants day in court.

    Thank you once again for your continued support. The Packham 3 are truly thankful for everyone’s support.

    Packham 3 Fundraising Team

    To make a payment directly to the Lawyers please contact us via the contact form here Contact – Countryside Fightback

    A Crossroads and a Call for Your Help.

    The Packham 3 Interview
    Interview at the Game Fair

    I know what you’re thinking, this is another post trying to separate you from your hard-earned money. You’re right, it is, and I am not ashamed to say so. This is an important fight, not only for The Packham 3, but for us all.

    It is one we MUST win.

    Is The Packham 3 Case Evidence of SLAPP?

    Elsewhere on this site is a discussion of SLAPP, short for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation. For a simple explanation you could do worse than look here.

    Essentially though, it is a misuse of the legal system to prevent, or limit, public scrutiny of an organisation or individual. In the USA various anti-SLAPP legislation has already been introduced and similar legislation is being considered in the UK. This will be far too late to be of benefit to the defendants in The Packham 3 case.

    The defendants are being sued individually, something that is unusual in these cases. The costs of the action are being deliberately set much higher than necessary in an attempt to freeze out dissent. In simple terms, prevent dissent by making it too expensive for the defendants to continue.

    It is not the first time this has happened; in fact, a number of activists and their associated organisations have what might be described as ‘form’ for this kind of action.

    We are determined not to lose

    It is imperative that these activists should fail, and that people be allowed to contribute fairly to raise awareness of the actions of activists who nibble away daily at our rights in what is truly a war of attrition.

    This affects not only the defendants in The Packham 3 case, but everyone who works, lives or simply supports traditional rural activities. It includes farming, shooting, angling, hunting, gamekeeping, beating, in fact everyone who supports, or is supported by these areas.

    The enemy have deep pockets and can afford to take an almost unlimited number of these types of legal actions knowing it will be very difficult for anyone to oppose them.

    For these reasons the Packham 3 Fundraising Team is constantly looking for new ways to raise funds to redress the balance. The latest opportunity being examined is that of an online auction and also a live hosted dinner auction. We will briefly explain the principle below.

    Fundraising Auctions

    We have effectively gone through market research stage looking for the best platform to use. This has now been completed.

    The first of two auctions will work by asking people, organisations and businesses to donate items to be auctioned off to raise funds. A transparent online auction process is available to ensure fairness and accountability. All monies raised go directly to the Solicitors Client Account.

    Items can be physical in nature, such as furniture, books, pictures, or could take the form of tickets to an event, or vouchers. Anything, in fact, that others would find of value and would, therefore, be prepared to bid on. This will be set up as an online ‘Ebay’ type auction.

    The second auction which we are already in the process of starting to organise is an even bigger auction event. The event will have a hosted live online auction in which guests and online participants can take part. It will auction off some high-end donations already secured thanks to our very generous donors. If you are interested in knowing more and would like to reserve a ticket, then please contact us here.

    So Now We Need Your Help

    We are asking you for donations for both of the auctions. At this juncture we are prepared to consider any and all donations but please consider carefully. For example, there may be family members who covet an item you are considering donating, we wouldn’t want to cause any rifts! Good choices could be items you might buy if you didn’t have one. Alternatively, perhaps you know a manufacturer or retailer who would consider providing something to donate.

    If you have anything to donate or have suggestions for organisations or individuals we could approach, could you please contact us here using the contact form.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, we are at a crossroads in this war and, if we take the wrong road, our way of life is in danger of disappearing forever.

    Thank you from The Packham 3 Fundraising Team

    A Chat Over Lunch

    On Wednesday 27th July Dom Wightman one of the Packham 3, accompanied by the film producer Alex Sayer, visited Gareth Wyn Jones at his farm in North Wales. Dom and Gareth have known each other for a while online but this was their first meeting, face to face, for a chat over lunch. Dom reports:

    “Gareth is a great lad. I know he gets visited all the time, so we showed up with curry and champagne in tow to give Gareth and his wife Rhian a change. We all enjoyed a meal together, put the world to rights and then retired to Gareth’s garden where Alex darted around on Gareth’s new electric motorbike, weaving in between geese and chickens. Gareth and I share the same ideas regarding certain individuals and we both look forward to a day when the BBC starts representing the UK countryside rather than dismissing those who live and work there as peasants and dinosaurs.

    That day will come sooner than people think.

    Gareth’s support of the Packham 3 is as strong as the bear hugs he dishes out. I look forward to collaborating with the great man in future months. We share a few trolls, and we had a good chuckle at their expense. Bora da!”

    We look forward to sharing the film with you later on this week but in the meantime please make a donation and reach out to as many people as you can as the Packham 3 are putting up a fight so, please will you all do the same?

    Thanks, from the Packham 3 Fundraising Team

    ‘The Packham 3’ Defamation Defence Against Chris Packham (crowdjustice.com)

    https://ko-fi.com/packham3

    If you wish to make a donation straight to the Solicitors, please contact us here and we will pass on the details to the Fundraising Team.

    Contact – Countryside Fightback

    Interview with Fieldsports Channel for The Packham 3 Fundraiser.

    Interview with Fieldsports Channel

    Many thanks to those of you who came to watch Dom Wightman and Simon Grace at the Game Fair on Saturday. The Fieldsports Channel interview was conducted by Charlie Jacoby of Fieldsports TV . It was held in the Carter Jonas tent with Dom alongside Simon from Action against Antis. We will be publishing the full interview with Fieldsports Channel on here in the next few days.

    A special thanks goes to Charlie who unexpectedly suggested at the end of the interview that those who watched the interview should make donations if they wanted to. An amazing £365 was spontaneously collected which will be banked today and added to the Crowd Justice fund. The Packham 3 and the Fundraising Team are very grateful. Dom was very chuffed putting so many faces to Facebook monikers. “The solidarity shown was both touching and inspiring,” he told us on Sunday, “one fellow came all the way down from Newcastle to see us!”

    Is The Future of Shooting in Wales Safe?

    The future of shooting in Wales

    The future of shooting in Wales is a constant topic that features in any conversation on shoot days, club meetings and having a pint in your local amongst field sports men and women.

    I have therefore decided to put pen to paper on this matter. In recent weeks our Wildfowling Club has had its crown lease terminated after 27 years by Natural Resources Wales (NRW). This is the largest sponsored body by the Welsh Government. They stated that they have sufficient ground for conservation purposes and therefore do not require more. This reply was after many emails and phone calls to NRW by the club secretary and was finally delivered in a phone call. Furthermore, there are other clubs in the area, and throughout Wales, that have similar experiences and restrictions imposed upon them. However, I will leave that for another day.

    Who is behind this?

    Who or what is behind this attack? Field Sports are slowly being nibbled away. Further restricting freedoms which have been enjoyed by many people in Wales over many years. Wales is rich in traditional hunting, shooting, and fishing. The devolved Welsh government is not supportive of these traditions, with the claim that their decisions are conservation based.

    Let’s look at the History of the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) which indicates that these claims are nothing more than a smokescreen and are part of a poorly hidden agenda.

    • In May 2016 the NRW Board directed that a formal review should be undertaken into the use of firearms on land that they manage. At the July 2018 Board meeting, all evidence-based recommendations of the review were agreed. These included the recommendation that NRW will continue to consider the leasing of rights. Whether this is for pheasant shooting, wildfowling or other pursuits involving firearms on a case-by-case basis. https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/news-and-events/statements/nrw-confirms-position-on-shooting-on-nrw-managed-land/?lang=en. This report came out with a positive view, and Welsh field sports men and women started to breathe easier.
    • On the 9th of July 2018, NRW received a letter from Hannah Blythyn AM, the then Minister for Environment, stating that Welsh Government does not support pheasant shooting, the breeding of game birds, or birds being kept in holding pens, on Welsh Government Estate Land. The NRW report was short-lived due to the interjection of the minister, and I must add with an estimated cost figure of between £45k & £50k to the Welsh taxpayer.
    • Greenland White Fronted Geese (GWFG) had for years enjoyed protection from a successful moratorium with no shooting from Welsh fowlers or clubs. They were removed from schedule 1 of the Wildlife and countryside act 1981. An act of sheer vanity with no benefit to the GWFG. https://gov.wales/written-statement-greenland-white-fronted-geese

    Covid Restrictions

    • During the Covid restrictions the Welsh Government refused to include commercial shoots in the Welsh furlough scheme. All other commercial activities in Wales received this government funding.  
    • Early this year, Julie James, AM minister for Climate Change, stated in a letter to Aim to Sustain that the WAG does not support the shooting of live quarry for leisure purposes. This stirred the pot among us Celts. Club secretaries and individuals exchanged emails between WAG and our shooting organisations to get some clarity on the situation. Chinese whispers had muddied the waters, going from lack of support to an outright ban. At this stage the Conservative Samuel Kurtz AM got involved. This forced Julie James to issue a statement, only for her to repeat the lack of support, and not a complete ban which was feared.
    • At present there is proposed bill to ban the use of snares. Snares, as many people will know, are a mainstay in the armoury of predator control. They help maintain the all too important ecological balance in the countryside. It is currently undergoing the rigours of scrutiny which I predict will result in a ban.

    Future

    The future of field sports in Wales is, in my opinion, diametrically opposed to the Welsh Government’s ideology. As a result, the Welsh government seeks power at any cost and will look to reap the populist vote in order to attain that power, by a strategic and structured attack on field sports. Consequently, it is here that the threat to the very existence of shooting, stalking, and fishing in Wales exists.

    Forget evidence based scientific research as that will be arrogantly ignored. The PACEC report, commissioned by BASC, is a perfect example of this.

    https://basc.org.uk/shooting-worth-2-billion-to-the-uk-economy/

    Apathy

    Finally, and equally concerning, is the apathy of the field sports community. There seems to be a can’t be bothered attitude to lobby our representatives in our local or national government. Despite these representatives being more accessible now than they have ever been. Therefore, I see this route as one we must take, with haste and en-masse.

    • We must make a nuisance of ourselves by writing to them about every conceivable threat to our sport that emerges.
    • We must participate in every consultation relevant to us.
    • We must at every opportunity respond to the negativity that flies in the face of what the countryside really needs.
    • This must always be backed up with peer reviewed scientific evidence, and not the emotive drivel that opponents of field sports continuously trot out. Soon they will come to realise it is not who shouts the loudest, it is the science that needs to be followed.

    If we don’t start to be much more proactive, specifically in lobbying and advocating for our field sports here in Wales and the rest of the UK, it will surely disappear before our eyes.

    Moongeese.

    Is the BBC impartial?

    Is the BBC impartial?

    “He may be vegan, but that hasn’t dissuaded Chris Packham from sinking his teeth into the BBC, which pays him handsomely for presenting Springwatch. After watching its coverage of the Tory leadership debate, Packham wails: ‘Why is this wretched fiasco on BBC One?'” Writes Richard Eden in the Daily Mail.

    Why wouldn’t it be, this writer wonders? After all, surely appointing a new Prime Minister is of interest to the majority of the viewing public?

    The full Tweet is shown to the left for those interested. It appears to suggest that the Left would like a say in how the Tory leader is elected.

    Left-wing students?

    Mr Packham is not unknown for his passionate outbursts but, of late, they seem to have become more ranting. This appears in a manner more associated with Left-wing students than seasoned BBC presenters.

    This one, for example, appears to be aimed at climate change not being addressed as quickly as our presenter would like. It is unclear what the relevance of the tagged celebrities might be.

    Why, though, shout at the TV? This seems more the action of an angry young activist.

    What does this have to do with the BBC?

    What does this have to do with the BBC, I hear you ask? Despite the BBC asserting that Packham is not bound by its impartiality guidelines as he doesn’t work in news or current affairs, the viewing public will not make such delineation. As far as they are concerned the BBC is either impartial, or it is not. Any presenter expressing a view that is far from impartial inevitably damages their reputation.

    From the same piece by Richard Eden: “Tim Bonner, of the Countryside Alliance, tells me that Packham should be ‘free to express his views…but the BBC should be equally clear that it cannot employ presenters who destroy its reputation for impartiality'”. Any discussion about the way a presenter is paid, employed or contracted is moot. The BBC is judged on, and is responsible for, its output.

    As it happens, I rarely watch the BBC. On those occasions I do I am left with the distinct impression it leans more heavily to the Left. This can only be a result of presenters, and their respective scripts, being ‘nodded through’ without thorough checks being made.

    Another example, if one were needed, of irrational ranting. In this case ignoring all the facts and science related to trophy hunting. So-called trophy hunting is, in most cases, nothing more than a managed cull. As we do with deer in the UK.

    BBC struggle to present unbiased output

    The BBC will clearly struggle to present unbiased, impartial output if it is unable or unwilling to bring its presenters under better control.

    At the same time I cannot help wondering what might be triggering Mr Packham’s increasingly irrational outbursts.

    Addendum:

    Quite why either of these two people posting on this thread thought this exchange was wise is beyond me.