gamekeeper comp2BASC is again supporting a competition which gives teenagers the chance to be gamekeepers for a weekend.

The UK’s largest shooting organisation joined forces with the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO) and the Northern School of Game and Wildlife (NSGW) to trial the event in 2014.

The weekends at Newton Rigg College in Penrith were so successful they were repeated last year, which has prompted organisers to roll out the competition again in 2016.

Duncan Thomas, acting BASC regional director for Northern England, said: “The feedback from winners in previous years has been extremely positive. We get a sense that the weekends give students an insight into how hard gamekeepers work but also show the immense satisfaction that can be had.”

Malcolm Riding, who runs the course on behalf of NSGW, said: “The competition should appeal to those who are interested in a career in gamekeeping, stalking, conservation or shooting. Meals and accommodation are free, so it really is a superb opportunity.

“On past weekends, we have looked at grouse moors, deer management, forestry, range work, clay pigeon shooting and partridge and pheasant rearing etc. A really popular session is the air rifle shooting with Jerry Moss and his team from the local Red Squirrel Group, which usually results in barbequed rabbits later in the weekend!”

The weekends will be run this year on April 8/9/10 and June 3/4/5 and the competition is open to 14-16-year-olds. To enter, potential students should write a short essay (no more than one side of A4) outlining any experience of shooting or gamekeeping and explaining future aspirations.

Essays should be emailed to or posted to Malcolm Riding, Gamekeeping Experience, Newton Rigg College, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0AH.

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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