Castle Gunmakers, Norham, Northumberland


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Castle Gunmakers, Norham, Northumberland

Fieldsports could aid the rural economic revival

The ongoing Covid 19 crisis has negatively impacted individuals and companies around the world on an unprecedented scale. Many businesses have been unable to cope with a sudden loss in customers caused by lockdown. For others, the prospect of reopening is still unimaginable as they entirely depend upon large groups of people gathering in small venues (such as restaurants, pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatre).

As the UK gradually starts to adapt to life with the coronavirus, a recent article in the Scottish Field suggested that a rural economic revival could, in part, be helped by Scottish shooting estates.

According to a survey undertaken by regional moorland groups, no gamekeepers had been made redundant and only three gamekeepers had been furloughed. Of the 32 estates surveyed none stated that they planned to reduce staffing levels.

Although Covid 19 has taken a toll on businesses, the self employed, charities, the arts and conservation, it would appear that Scottish Estates are still able to support local community businesses. Hopefully English and Welsh Estates will be in a similar position and will also able to aid with rural economic revival.

Working outdoors whilst the majority of the population has been in lockdown, gamekeepers have had the rare opportunity to continuing working as normal. During crop planting and lambing the usual duties of killing foxes, crows and pigeons have been undertaken to help protect the food chain.

Although many estates have tried to keep to business as usual, the regional  moorland survey also found that the estates questioned “expect to lose a more than £8.5 million in total due to the coronavirus outbreak, with the average loss forecast to sit at close to £270,000”.

One silver lining could be that as all fieldsports take place outdoors, and often with limited groups of people, it could see a return before other events and businesses that are handicapped by the need to operate indoors, or with larger groups of people.

In preparation for this Castle Gunmakers will reopen from the 15th June, and we look forward to seeing all our customers again with social distancing in place (in accordance with Government and Gun Trade Association guidance).

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