New Shooting Advisory Service launched in East Anglia
PUBLISHED: 11:14 08 June 2013
Shoot owners across East Anglia can take advantage of a new practical advisory service to make their sport more productive and profitable.
With a third of shoots making a loss last year and higher feed and gas prices set to add more costs, there was clear potential to become more efficient.
North Norfolk farmer’s son Charlie Mack, of Brown & Co, and colleague Henry Barringer, will lead the new shooting and conservation service.
It aims to cover all aspects of shoot organisation, from design and management to environmental conservation and finance and will be tailored to any size of shoot, whether run for commercial gain or as a hobby.
“From start-up ventures needing advice on the basics such as organising contractors or cover crop placement, to well-established businesses needing to fine-tune operations by integrating environmental schemes or improving book-keeping, we can help,” said the firm’s consultant, Mr Mack.
While he has a keen interest in field sports and knowledge of rural grant schemes, Mr Barringer is an environmental consultant and professional deer stalker.
“We have detailed knowledge and experience across all aspects of sporting management and conservation as well as practical farming experience enabling us to deliver balanced and cohesive advice,” said Mr Mack.
“There are 1.7 million gun days being enjoyed in this area, the highest of any region in the country. However, shoot managers are having to think hard about their strategies. There is plenty of scope to help farmers and landowners improve their income and/or enjoyment from their shooting operations.”
The shooting and conservation service is backed up by Brown & Co’s agricultural business consultancy. In addition, the consultancy arm has acted for occupiers with more than 100,000 acres of land under environmental stewardship agreements, giving it unrivalled knowledge in this area, said Mr Mack.
“We also have a well established book-keeping service that can provide administrative support to commercial shoots as well as monitoring financial performance.”
The service could assist with shoot design by using mapping software. This makes it possible to show data such as drive location, cover crops, peg locations, beater directions, rights of way and health and safety hazards. Consultants can also advise on drive layout, quarry type and selection, and cover crop design and management.
Shoot management: The range of services includes recruitment, shooting licences and syndicate agreements, lettings, contractors, pest control and health and safety. A shoot agency service is also available.
Environmental conservation: This is a key area of the service, helping to match environmental schemes to shoot and conservation needs. Advice on applying for entry or higher level stewardship schemes is offered, plus a cost/benefit appraisal, advice on new agreements and renewals, management options, application assistance and advice to protect payments and maximise environmental benefit.
Finance and budgeting: Aimed at commercial shoots or to support reports for lenders and advisers, this service includes benchmarking, budgeting and bookkeeping to outline the true costs of the shoot and highlight areas for improvement.
Deer management: Promoting deer welfare through best codes of practice with in-depth knowledge and experience, advice includes impact assessments, sourcing grant funding for stalking (up to £75 per hectare is available) and preparing management plans.