Although they no longer advertise on well known shooting site gunsonpegs, Honeybrook farm, Slaughterford, Wiltshire SN14 8RJ (owned by Liz Hodges, tel: 01249 712271) near Chippenham certainly was selling pheasant shooting spots during the last season, as you can see on this facebook post by A1 Decoys:
Activists researching shooting activity on a number of shoots in the South West decided to have an indepth search on this and other estates to see exactly what was going on in the weeks running upto pheasant pens being filled. Pens are usually filled with pheasant poults around the end of July, beginning of August and it’s not uncommon to find a number of snares and traps put down for predators of poults around this time.
This was just one of many fenn traps found, on the estate. This one is right on top of an entrance to an active badger sett.
Fenn traps are by law supposed to be enclosed and certainly not put on top of badger setts. The owners of the land Ray and Liz Hodges, are well aware of this as other fenn traps were found next to the required boxes (but not in them!):
You’d think that with the most of the farm being an SSSI, that wildlife would be looked after and not persecuted, you’d be wrong.
Ray and Liz Hodges are well known locally for being a bit crazy, Ray will come out with his shotgun and wave it about and in an interview that starts well but ends in full blown hillbilly, Liz openly admits:
Lizs greatest fear is that public funding would mean greater public access. “I dont see why I should give people somewhere to have their holidays. We have no footpaths on the farm but I have to spend my weekends on patrol, people are just coming out of the woodwork.”
Strangely Liz doesn’t think that any footpaths go through her property, but they do as a quick look on an OS map reveals:
Although the fenn traps were found well away from the footpaths, the pheasant pens in White Cliff Wood had quite a few fenn traps surrounding them, no doubt in preparation for the pheasant poults that will be put in there over the next week or so.
Please do contact the Hodges and ask them to stop using fenn traps illegally, maybe with enough calls they will see sense. tel: 01249 712271
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