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'you can come in here, but you'll get shot'


Les Henson
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Looks like the season for being threatened with guns is here.

Mark Jenkins and I took the route originally mapped out by Chris Watts for the treasure hunt yesterday, so open and safe byeways. Unfortunately people with guns were also out and taking over the countryside - twice we had trouble with shooters - the first felt that they had the right to close a byeway. We went to go through a gateway - a well used byeway, and no closure notice on it, but were stopped by a rather enthusiastic woman, and a rather embarrassed-looking elderly gentleman.

She - '"you can't go in there."

Me - "whys that?"

She - "because we're having a shoot"

Me - has the byeway been closed?

She - "we are having a shoot"

Me - "but this is a public right of way, and the byeway is open"

She - "well you can go in there, but you will be shot"

She then hurried away through the gateway.

We entered the byeway rather cautiously, and another gentleman came running over. Apparently I had been "gobby", but he apologised and asked us if we wouldn't mind waiting a short while for the shoot to move off, and with this simple and polite explananation and request, we did so.

How much easier and better would it have been to just explain and ask if we would wait in the first place.

2nd 'event' was with another shooting party, although in fairness - that fact is irrelevant. We drove along a different section of byeway past a group of people, almost all of which nodded and smiled - excpet one elderly chap that scowled at us. We came to a junction of tracks, and were pondering the map on which way we were to go. I looked around and a signpost had been pulled out of the ground - complete with byeway sign and other countryside information labels. I thought it a good idea to photograph this obvious act of vandalism, and as I did so, the grumpy chap came along in a vehicle driven by someone else. I told them that we were trying to determine where the byeway was, and that the sign had been pulled out of the ground. We didn't want to trepass on anyone's land by mistake.

'Grumpy' said that 3 groups of vehicles had already driven across his fields that day, and that the sign had been 'ripped' out by 'you lot'. The driver was fortunately more polite, and told us where the byeway was, and we left.

There was no evidence of any vehicles having been across his fields, and the area in general wasn't rutted, or damaged. As for the sign, well I don't know - can't see why anyone other than a landowner would remove it, but you never know.

It just goes to show that even being polite and careful still gets you into trouble with some folk. :(

Les. :)

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Guest diesel_jim

Les, was one of those byways the one that comes off of the Pewsey-marlborough road? it goes down a long concrete road, quite straight, then through a couple of barns, around a small hill and through a quite messy muddy section (the muddy section that held up a few people on the treasure hunt?)

if so, i've had grief there myself in the past with shooters. the "top" man claims that he's an ex copper and thinks he knows it all.

until i pointed out that IF he was a man of the law, then he'd know that you wern't allowed shooters within 50 meters of a public RoW.

he kind of shuffled off then. but whilst doing so tried to tell me i ws "speeding" and coujld have killed some pheasants....

"but what about the fact youre killing them with a 12bore then mate?"

he couldn't answer that, so now i make it a rule to ALWAYS drive that byway if i'm near it. just for the hell of it! :D

Any chance you could PM me the grids of the ones you had hassle on?

how did the recovery go?

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The recovery took ages as you know, I think the 90 suffered badly from it as well. Cooked engine, cooked clutch, stalled winch.

The v8 90 that turned up first had to give up trying in the end - he broke down and had to be towed out, then recoverd by a big yellow Taxi. 2 Zooks and a nicely tricked-up Rangy turned up, and the Rangy got us out in the end. You know where we were at that point I think?

The grumpy old guy and the post that had been pulled out were as we crossed Monkton Field (159 to 169) on the map you sent me. The 90dg turn to the south is where the post is just lying on the ground.

The woman that told us we couldn't proceed was at a gateway through private land - Comes off west Everleigh Down, through the gate and down the side of a line of trees on the left, between Bruce Down and Bohume Down, then through Bruce Field.

I took pictures, but have been unable to upload any since 5:15 this morning. Still trying, and will add to this thread when I get them in the gallery.

Les. :)

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I am sure that someone else can give chaper and verse here but it is illegal to shoot on or towards a public road or ROW.

Chris

It is an offence without lawful authority or reasonable excuse to discharge any firearm within fifty feet of the centre of a highway which consists or compromises a carriageway, and in consequence a user of the carriageway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

Full info here.

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Her choice of words wasnt at its best, and yes she should have been polite. bear in mind shoots have been in existance since before the internal combustion engine was invented so its not "them" taking over the countryside - its theirs already.

Not before horse drawn carriages pulled along the same byways though. :)

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Les, was one of those byways the one that comes off of the Pewsey-marlborough road? it goes down a long concrete road, quite straight, then through a couple of barns, around a small hill and through a quite messy muddy section (the muddy section that held up a few people on the treasure hunt?)

if so, i've had grief there myself in the past with shooters. the "top" man claims that he's an ex copper and thinks he knows it all.

until i pointed out that IF he was a man of the law, then he'd know that you wern't allowed shooters within 50 meters of a public RoW.

he kind of shuffled off then. but whilst doing so tried to tell me i ws "speeding" and coujld have killed some pheasants....

"but what about the fact youre killing them with a 12bore then mate?"

he couldn't answer that, so now i make it a rule to ALWAYS drive that byway if i'm near it. just for the hell of it! :D

Any chance you could PM me the grids of the ones you had hassle on?

how did the recovery go?

The byway i think you are on about comes off the pewsey/upavon rd at manningford, i have driven it a few times as it is very close to me.

the beaters and some of the shooters drink in my local after the shoots and arent a bad lot. (you will always get one )

I have a shoot card somewhere and it has the shoot info. from memory i think the last one is next week so you shouldn't see any for a while. :)

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Guest diesel_jim
Her choice of words wasnt at its best, and yes she should have been polite. bear in mind shoots have been in existance since before the internal combustion engine was invented so its not "them" taking over the countryside - its theirs already.

It's not "theirs"..... it's "ours" :rolleyes:

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A slightly different scenario, I used to work as a ranger for the Peak District National Park. A lot of moorland in the National Park is privately owned or owned by the local water boards etc. Open access has been reached on places such as Kinder Scout and Bleaklow where very few public footpaths/ROW exist. These moors can be closed for up to 12 or 4 days per year to allow grouse shooting to take place.

The dates of the moor closures are advertised in the local press and are posted around the relevant moors. The public footpaths can NOT be closed even if they cut straight through the middle off the shooting area. At either end of the public footpaths entering/a shooting area a person was posted who explained the situation. When the shoot was active close to a public footpath walkers were politely asked to wait for 10 minutes until the shoot moved onto the next beat. Most walkers I met were quite happy to take a 10 minute rest and I never met one who insisted on their legal right to walk the public footpath whilst the shoot was active close to it.

Politeness and accurate information seemed to work out fine for both sides when I worked for the National Park.

Regards

Leeds

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We were quite happy to wait once we were asked to and had the situation explained to us by the second person we spoke to. The woman who would be at the top of the shoot, should have done this same thing however, and all would have been roses. Telling us we could go in, but may get shot, was not a very good way of doing things.

MOG - that's an excellent document, I've printed a few off for future reference.

Les. :)

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Guest diesel_jim
The woman that told us we couldn't proceed was at a gateway through private land - Comes off west Everleigh Down, through the gate and down the side of a line of trees on the left, between Bruce Down and Bohume Down, then through Bruce Field.

Just checked on my map.... that is the same place where i had grief ages back. obviously the folk there assume they own the RoW's! :angry:

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When theres a shoot on Les we're always at pains to be polite to people, we are ultimately (as with 4x4 usage) at the mercy of public opinion, knee jerk legislation is a popular game. So if offence was caused Im sorry to hear it.

driven hunting predates the wheel Tony ;)

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I've always been at pains to ensure all guns, beaters, picker-ups on shoots that I have arranged are briefed to ensure that they are polite to all they encounter. We live on a small and crowded island and we all need to be aware of each others needs and rights - most things cost money these days but consideration, courtesy and politeness are still one of the few things that cost nothing.

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I've always been at pains to ensure all guns, beaters, picker-ups on shoots that I have arranged are briefed to ensure that they are polite to all they encounter. We live on a small and crowded island and we all need to be aware of each others needs and rights - most things cost money these days but consideration, courtesy and politeness are still one of the few things that cost nothing.

Very true, Mog. Shooting is very much at risk and I don't think it'll be long before someone has a go at banning it. It doesn't take any effort to be polite and, on every shoot I've been on, both the beaters and the shooters are always briefed about being sensitive. Although this woman had the right intentions she went about it all the wrong way and here comment about getting shot was very silly. It'd be far more likely a vehicle would be damaged by a falling bird - I've seen several windscreens broken over the years.

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