CONTROVERSIAL CONSERVATION

ABOUT

The glorious twelfth. It refers to August 12th each year and signifies the start of the shooting season. It is a tradition. Heading out in to the countryside armed with a double-barrelled shotgun to kill animals isn’t for all. It never was. It was, and still remains, quite an elitist pursuit. The guns are not cheap and usually handed down within families. It can be easy to stand on the sidelines calling for this blood sport to be stopped. Cancel culture pervades seemingly everywhere so surely this barbaric pastime for the wealthy has to go too?

To understand anything in the modern world still needs time. Time to research, investigate, fact check. It doesn’t sit well to do that of course. Google means you can have your opinion confirmed in milliseconds and if it doesn’t confirm it, head to Facebook. You can confirm everything on that fatuous platform.

EDUCATION

This particular shoot is the longest running continuous shoot in the world. The ledger was opened in 1835 and it has continued each year since. Alistair, their gamekeeper, takes me around for the day and I begin to understand more about it all. 'Back in the day, all of this land was owned by two houses' he looks around. This land stretched from the banks of the Severn estuary at its eastern edge and was owned as far west as Kensington in London. 'Slave trade I'm afraid' his face furrows at the thought. The land is still dotted with the bases of buildings. In these, the lookouts would keep watch as the ships headed to Bristol. They would send a signal that would reach the taverns where men would be roused to prepare for unloading. It is a sobering place to stand. 2020 has seen cancel culture want to rightly remove statues but to not learn from our history will be our downfall. As for the shoot, it is a mere shadow of its former self. Pheasant is the staple animal and all birds are taken home, hung and eaten by all who partake. But what if the shoot wasn't here? 'Housing most likely' Alistair answers. Would that be a bad thing? Seeing that foxes now live in Bristol suburbs, as there is more food for them from our waste than this, their natural habitat, yes, it would be. 'We found an extremely rare plant here that it was believed had been lost too.' Still fancy cancelling history or learning from it?

PROJECT GALLERY

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