What a fantastic 3 days we’ve had at this years Great Yorkshire Show, we’ve met lots of new people, been involved in a brilliant demonstration and all of this helped by the fact that the weather was kind to us. NYMMO joined the NGO, Gamekeepers Welfare Trust and Elanco in the marquee and we enjoyed meeting lots of new people and chatting to lots of old friends. We are pleased to say we also had a great chat with the local Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk & Malton), nice to see him coming into see us and find out more about NYMMO.
“A year in the life of a grouse moor” was the great showpiece that NYMMO was proud to be a part of, a performance delivered twice daily on each of the 3 days within the Country Pursuits arena , which proved a resounding success
An excellent informative performance delivered by the impeccably smart dressed John Cavana dressed top to toe in tweeds, the renowned look associated with the Game Keeper. The very informative script took us on a journey through the gamekeepers tasks from Autumn right through to the first day of the grouse shooting season on the 12th August.
Within the performance there was a heather burning display which saw plumes of smoke from the controlled fire that had been lit, float through the sky as John conveyed to the captive audience the benefits that controlled burning had on the environment, wildlife and animals that reside on it. There was a game keeper riding around the arena and checking traps, John was delivering an excellent talk, but the real eye-catcher to the vast audience that was gathered at every display was the arrival of the beaters. Richard Walton and the 2 NYMMO game keepers gathered from the audience children, to join in and simulate a working beating line, there were so many volunteers there wasn’t enough flags for everybody. The beating line began at the top of the hill outside of the arena and the audience were transfixed as the flags were waving, loud voices, a lovely straight line appearing working its way down to the arena heading towards the grouse butt. Shots are heard from the butt as a plume of feathers hits the ground, more shots, the horn, another barrage of shooting and then the long horn to announce the end of the drive. The black labrador gun dog scurries across the arena to collect the “birds” and John delivers a brace of grouse to the gun after a very successful drive. The children are rewarded with a badge and a medal for their efforts and leave with a big smile on their faces, the clapping resounds round the whole arena and the display has been a great success.
To sum up, the display was informative, eye-catching, something new, but ultimately we think it gave a brilliant insight into a keepers life and why we do things and this is without doubt a good thing. The audience went away happy, and each of them hopefully took something positive away with them if not only the pride and passion that a game keeper has for his work. There were even people requesting to have their photographs taken with our keepers, this has got to be good for us, people will spread the word and hopefully get to know about us for the right reasons.
We need this type of display, we need to inform people into what managed moorland is all about and the massive benefits it has to the environment and wildlife. It is the not knowing that scares some people, we need to spread the word, and this display alone I am confident has given people more of an insight into the huge positives that grouse moors can give.
A massive thank you to the Countryside Alliance, NGO, Hull Cartridge, John Cavana, Richard Walton and our NYMMO Keepers (Charlie & Murray from Bransdale, Ben & Will from Rosedale & Westerdale and Jimmy and Rob from Snilesworth) for developing, producing and executing a great display. Hopefully we can look to get this reproduced at future shows and carry on the good work.
To sum up “A Year in the Life of a Grouse Moor” was a great success and overall The Great Yorkshire Show in general has been a really good advert for managed moorland and game keepers.
Please also look to support John Cavana and Richard Walton as they are putting on their finest sporting attire to take on a mammoth 100km Frontline walk to honour gamekeepers, hunt staff and field sports enthusiasts who paid the ultimate sacrifice during The Battle of the Somme 100 years ago.
John and Richard are raising money for the Army Benevolent Fund and would hugely appreciate donations for such a great charity. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Richard-Walton8