Claire Sadler is a solicitor and a Vice Chair of BASC (British Association of Shooting & Conservation). She enjoys fishing, horse riding and field sports when time allows.
“While I don’t come from a farming or gamekeeping background, I have grown up around shooting, conservation and with a ‘field to fork’ approach to life. My father was heavily involved with our local shoots and assisted some of our surrounding farmers with pest control and so we were immersed from a young age.
“I shoot as often as I can. Recently, as I have been pregnant and now have a six week old, my shooting has been less frequent than usual, but I am looking to pick up my gun during this season.
“As well as being a gun, I also pick up with my Labrador, Woody, when I can both during the season and on the pigeons when we get the opportunity.
“Our community, where we live in Oxfordshire, benefits greatly from shooting and other country sports. From polo to fishing to game shooting, our local community is involved in one or all. From the social aspect to game on the menus of our local pubs to the financial boost to the local economy the benefits are widely felt.
“Our estates employ seasonal workers, locals enjoy beating and picking up, our local pubs and hotels/ B&Bs notice a boost during the season.
“As a family there is a heavy emphasis on knowing where our food has come from and we try to live off meat we have sourced or shot ourselves. We eat all game and during Great British Game Week (which this year runs from 22-28 November) I try and show a meal/ recipe made with different game each day. As we always have access to wood pigeon, I try to use this as much as possible. I’ve found that mincing pigeon breasts to use in chilli, spaghetti bolognese or in my ‘Hide Pie’ – which is gathering quite the reputation – works a treat. Venison is another firm favourite but is dependent on how often I can get out with the rifle – again that’s something that’s gone on the back burner recently!
“Game from our local shoots is supplied to our local pubs, so the carbon footprint of meat on the menu is low.
“The team at BASC do a fantastic job with the ‘Let’s Learn Moor’ initiative. It’s Britain’s largest upland education initiative and sees thousands of children visit their local moor to learn about moorland species and conservation efforts.
“I have first-hand experience of the abundance of wildlife, the biodiversity efforts and the wide ranging benefits to flora and fauna that come from moor management. BASC works closely with other upland organisations and the regional moorland groups to promote sustainable management practices, using science and practical case studies.”