Longparish Village Handbook (1999 edition)
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Longparish was first linked with game shooting through the Sporting Diaries of Colonel Peter Hawker, which covered the years 1802 to 1853, and is a classic book of its kind. Hawker once shot a woodcock from the window of his bedroom in Longparish House.

Today the shooting in Longparish, like the fishing, is all privately owned and expensiveUntil the second half of the 20th century, wild English partridges were plentiful (204 brace were killed by eight guns in six hours over 700 acres of the Lower Mill estate in 1930), but these are now very scarce, due to changes in agricultural practice. For their main sport, guns depend upon pheasants and French partridges, reared by hand.

The two main shoots, centred on the Middleton and Longparish House Estates, are family concerns. The Lower Mill Estate has been broken up. Birds are driven over the guns by beaters, providing targets which vary in quality according to the lie of the land and the weather conditions. As a rule, the steeper the ground and the higher the wind, the better the sport. Where it is possible to take a day’s shooting (not at Middleton or the Longparish House Estate) the cost ranges from £25 to £20 a bird. The pheasant season runs from October 1st to February 1st, the partridge season from September 1st to February 1st.

There is wild duck, geese and snipe shooting through the water meadows. Hare drives are organised when the game season is finished. Rabbits, still the farmer’s greatest scourge, were more or less wiped out by myxamatosis in the mid-1950s. They are now returning in increasing numbers, only to find themselves run down on the roads, or hunted at night out of car headlights. To protect crops, farmers have to try to keep numbers in check.

The rising deer population has to be kept under control by careful and professional culling, the fallow does in winter and the bucks in spring and summer. There is stalking to be had in Harewood Forest and other lesser coverts. The deer are mostly fallow. Roe deer were first seen at Middleton in 1974 and muntjac in 1990.

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