Meet the winners – 2014

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Meet the Really Wild Face of Fieldsports 2014.

Camilla Lemon

Camilla Lemon (35) is a busy mother of four who lives in Wilton, Wiltshire on an arable farm with her husband David and a menagerie of animals, from ponies to alpacas. Having grown-up outside Sevenoaks in Kent, she is never happier than when outdoors.

What do you do for a living?

I was a chartered surveyor in London and Newbury, and then farm secretary before starting our family seven years ago. Nowadays, if I'm not juggling our four children; James (7), Douglas (5), Georgina (4) and Sophie (2), then I am out riding or running, being sent to Daventry for combine parts, or cooking shoot lunches. I have introduced a small zoo onto our arable farm to give it a bit more soul, with chickens, cows, pigs, goats, alpacas ducks and geese. And I'll often do a bit of office work when I am needed, too.

Why did you enter the RWFF?

It was a friend who actually urged me to enter. “This is for you, you should definitely enter this,” she said. So I agreed that I would enter with one of the photos that she had taken of me. Of course, all of these fabulous prizes were quite an incentive too.

Shooting, stalking, fishing or hunting?

Shooting and hunting. On the farm we have a small private shoot, joint with the neighbouring farm. It is informal and just a great day out with friends. Another passion of mine is hunting. I have four ponies and a six-year-old hunter called Apache. I always hunted as a teenager and have followed the Tedworth regularly for the last 10 years. Although it has become increasingly hectic juggling this with looking after the children.

What was your first ever live quarry?

It was a cock pheasant on a walked-up day when I was 16, near my parents' house in Sevenoaks. I was being minded by a close family friend,  Alistair Patterson, and one of the dogs flushed the bird which came straight back through the trees over my head. It was followed by a lot of whooping and excitement!

Other interests/hobbies?

Anything that involves being outside. I love the outdoors. One of my favourite things during the shooting season is cooking the shoot lunches. I'm also in training for my first triathlon, which is in June next year.

Your favourite aspects of the fieldsports you participate in?

Socialising with friends and making new ones. I still get a thrill from being out in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside.

And your pet hate?

Pretentious people. I really don't like the impression given by some that fieldsports are exclusive to a particular social class. It is important that all our sports are accessible and open to people from all types of background. This way, more people can develop a proper understanding of what we do and why we do it. If people at least get the chance to try the sport for themselves, and still dislike it, at least they know what they're disliking. In this respect, I think hunting, and certainly my local hunt, has done a great job in recent years.

Labrador, cocker, springer, pointer or other?

We have working labradors – Widgeon (11) and Musky (12 weeks old), and a standard wire-haired dachshund. The dachshund loves joining us on a shoot day and is becoming quite adept at retrieving partridges.

Favourite spot?

I'd have to say the Wiltshire Downs for shooting. For me, it is the perfect backdrop for a great day's sport. When I'm hunting, I love the more wooded country – you can't beat it.

Favourite quarry?

Rats! The whole family loves a rat hunt. But, in all seriousness, testing late-winter pheasants off the Marlborough downs are awesome. There are so many aspects that make a shoot day such fun. Pulling the trigger is only a small part of that.

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What is your ultimate sporting goal?

I would love to go stalking in my local area for fallow deer. Stalking is something I've never had the opportunity to do, but I think it must be one of the ultimate forms of fieldsports. It'd be such a challenge and something totally different to standing on a peg having birds driven over you.

Your dream team of Guns might include...

Like-minded friends would always get my vote. We usually have a girls' day here on the farm around new year.  The regulars are Caroline Pearson, Rebe Horton, Sophie, Tamsin and Chloe Hayward, Louisa Horton and Hen Gillespie. I'd also like Lucy Charman there, too, taking the best pictures ever! That day would take some beating.

What gun, rifle, rod do you use?

I shoot a Browning 425, 20 bore over-under.

Bit of kit that you would be lost without?

My horse, Apache! Warm, waterproof boots are always handy, too.

Favourite hip flask tipple?

Almost anything! A good damson vodka or grog (rum and lime) takes a bit of beating.

What do you recognise as being the most important issues facing the countryside today?

The lack of understanding that the general public have of our sports. So many people have never experienced a day's shooting, fishing, hunting or stalking. It's crucial that we open up opportunities for these people to get involved as much as we can.

What would you change about the way that our sports are conducted in the UK?

I continue to witness, first-hand, the devastation created by foxes so I wish the hunting ban could be reconsidered. I also see the fantastic environment created by farmers for hunting and shooting, which massively enhances the habitat in which all wild animals thrive.

If you could change one thing about the public's perception of country sports, what would it be?

That fieldsports are not the preserve of toffs, snobs or the super-wealthy and they are not exclusive for those considered to be in a higher social class. It is also important that people understand that it is not just about ‘killing stuff' – there is so much more to our sports than this.


intext2_rwffBen Finnemore

Ben Finnemore (38) hails from North Cornwall. A true countryman, having grown-up with an affinity for the outdoors, Ben is a father of five and keen to pass on his passion for the outdoors and fieldsports to his children. He sometimes even manages to get out with the rod and gun himself!

What do you do for a living?

I am now a house husband – I used to work on the land but swapped jobs with my wife and now look after our five little ones. I'm gradually weaning them all onto fieldsports. The three older ones love working the dogs, target shooting with airguns and will help me plucking game in preparation for supper.

Why did you enter the RWFF?

I thought it would be a bit of fun! I also thought it would be a great way to inspire my little gang and be a role model for them. They love it all; from horses and hounds to fishing and target shooting.

Shooting, stalking, fishing or hunting?

Mainly shooting and fishing for me, although I used to follow the North Cornwall Hunt as a foot follower and still go to the opening meet nowadays.

I love my fishing and get out as much as I can on the River Camel in Cornwall for sea trout and salmon (my biggest salmon to date is an 11½ pounder). Where we are, there is a lot of catch-and-release now – we want some fish around for when the kids grow up.

I also really enjoy my game shooting and I'm part of a syndicate on the farm that my brother manages on Bodmin Moor. We put down a few birds and everybody chips in and helps. It is mainly walked-up pheasant, snipe and woodcock, and this is our fourth season.

What was your first ever live quarry?

A brownie from the River Camel. My grandparents owned a farm just above the river – I must have been about ten at the time.

Other interests/hobbies?

I make a lot of cider. Myself and half a dozen friends started a syndicate a few years back, and we now make about 3,000 litres a year – it has since been named Haywood Farm Cider.

Foraging is another hobby of mine and I am currently doing a mycology course. I am also a keen follower of rugby.

Your favourite aspects of the fieldsports you participate in?

Just being outdoors, whether it is blowing a gale, sheet rain or bright sunshine. I was brought up to enjoy our sports whatever, and that's how I'll bring my kids up.

I love sorting out bits on our little shoot as well; there's a real sense of community when everyone does their bit.

And your pet hate?

Ramblers and walkers who have no respect for other people's land, never stick to the endless miles of footpaths and byways, and have no control of their dogs.

People should also have respect for their chosen game. I have seen braces of pheasants tied with blue string left in laybys by the side of a busy road. It is so ridiculous and such a waste.

Labrador, cocker, springer, pointer or other?

I have a cocker, Tilly, and two Jack Russells, Cromarty and Tula. The cocker loves a bit of shooting and will soon be getting fit as we will often walk 10 miles or more on a shoot day here. The other two are typical terriers, and proficient little ratters!

Favourite spot?

We have a flight pond on the moor. When there is a frost in January and we are flighting teal under a full moon, that place is special, almost ghostly.

Favourite quarry?

Woodcock when shooting, sea trout when fishing. Walked-up woodcock take some beating, although I leave just as many as I shoot – they're fascinating creatures. I often log-in to follow their progress with the GWCT tracking programme. And sea trout are just so wily.

What is your ultimate sporting goal?

I achieved one of my goals in 2012 when I shot my first right-and-left on woodcock. I'd also love to join the 20lb+ salmon club though. That'd be special.

Your dream team of Guns might include...

All the boys I shoot with. Mark Finnemore, Geoff Thomas, Dan Gill, Mike Bradner, Shaun Conbeer, Dom Goatman, Colin Stevens and Andrew Prout. They are all good, safe Shots, but none of them take it too seriously and it is a true pleasure to be out with them. I'd also like to be stood in a line with the likes of Lord James Percy or somebody like Richard Faulds, just to see how good they really are.

What gun, rifle, rod do you use?

I shoot with a 28" barrelled side-by-side Italian 12 bore that I bought at auction for £15, not including commission! I fish with a Hardy Favourite spinning rod.

Bit of kit that you would be lost without?

My trusty Meindl boots. They're warm, waterproof, supportive and just perfect for the terrain we cover on the shoot.

Favourite hip flask tipple?

It has to be the classic – homemade sloe gin.

What do you recognise as being the most important issues facing the countryside today?

Where do I start... Housing for younger people in rural areas is an issue where we are. Young people can't afford to live in rural areas anymore, schools are dwindling and rural infrastructure is crumbling. Mobile phone service and half-decent internet is also a problem. I speak to my friends in London (after searching for signal) and they tell me about their brilliant 4G internet connection. In rural Cornwall we're still struggling with dial-up.

What would you change about the way that our sports are conducted in the UK?

I'd definitely focus on encouraging more younger people into the sport and from a wider audience. I think this starts with a basic interest in the outdoors and countryside. When I was at school, they had a farm and we spent a lot of time outside. Now schools seem to be entirely focused on pleasing Ofsted, and kids live in a world of TVs and computers. I know that my kids get much more out of our trips out foraging for mussels and fungi, and learning how to pluck and cook game, than they do from staring at a screen.

If you could change one thing about the public's perception of country sports, what would it be?

I think fieldsports, as a whole, need to shrug off the image of only being enjoyed by the rich and the privileged. Much of the general public think that if you don't have a Range Rover and own thousands of acres of land, you can't fish, shoot or hunt. Of course, this couldn't be further from the truth. In our syndicate we have plumbers, electricians, harriers, farm workers – a really good mix of people.

After the great success of the 2014 competition, The Really Wild Face of Fieldsports is back, and now open for entries:

www.fieldsportsmagazine.com/could-you-be-the-really-wild-face-of-fieldsports-2015.html   

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