My partridge and pheasant shooting at Pateley Bridge started as a small experiment in 2005. Being faced with no grouse shooting on the two Moors in 2005 one of my Heathfield Moor Landlords, Richard Simpson, suggested I plant some wild bird cover on his hillside farmland at Ashfold Side and drive pheasant and partridge over Merryfield Gill.
Initially I was somewhat reluctant to release game near to the Moor, as I am very aware that some Grouse Moors have been taken over and ruined by partridge and pheasant shooting. For me there can be no compromise, on the Moors my grouse will always come first with the wild English partridge a close second but with nothing else in the running. Fortunately there are very few grouse on the moorland edges and none on the farmland near to the areas where we release the partridge and pheasant.
My policy at the end of the season is to catch up or shoot every game bird on or near to the Moor, (which is not a grouse or English partridge). During past seasons we have been successful in this goal and I do not believe that the release of these birds has damaged our grouse stock in any way.