Walking during the grouse shooting season?
Q. With the shooting season upon us (August 12th to December 10th in mainland Great Britain, August 12th to November 30th in Northern Ireland - Ed) my walking group are increasingly coming upon groups of people pheasant shooting.
However they shoot over the path that we walk along and have even loosed of shots between groups of people walking along the path.
How far away should they be from the path; are they allowed to shoot over the path; and shouldn't the path be clear before they start again?
Colin McCourt, East Cowes, Isle Of
A. If you come across any kind of shoot or hunt then the best approach is a reasonable one rather than demanding any rights to pass. In the case of a pheasant shoot, the best option for a group of walkers is to wait till they've shot the particular wood. It doesnt usually take very long. Shoots have to conform to health and safety legislation and will normally be very keen to act safely. In the case of grouse shoots, if you're on a footpath, the beaters will usually wait till you've passed by but if they've already started then you ought to wait. Open access land will be closed for a shoot, but if you do come across a shoot, you will probably be instructed to keep to a particular route. Its not a good idea to get between beaters and guns! No matter what you might think of huntin shootin and fishin, these are important aspects of the rural economy and keeping it looking like it is.
Mike Knipe, Crook