The Field

Howesyke, showing how it should be done

The Royal Marines Commandos believe that if you want to win a conflict on the ground, you must first seize control of the narrative. Country sports are in a war right now and we have comprehensively lost the battle of words. If we are ever to take back initiative in the debate, then we must have a narrative – and the story we should tell is of Howesyke and shoots like it.

Howesyke Shoot at Thoralby, near Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, won a Purdey Gold Award in 2018. The award citation mentioned shoot owners Rob and Helen Brown’s work in woodland and heather restoration, as well as a successful black grouse re-establishment scheme. The judges commented: “Mr and Mrs Brown have transformed a hitherto intensively managed hill farm into a truly wonderful shoot offering a stunning variety of partridge, pheasant and grouse.” The numbers read: 100,000 broadleaf trees planted; 900 acres of peat restored; five new wetland habitats created; 1.3km of dry-stone walls repaired and rebuilt.

“A couple of shots then

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