If this blog strayed now and again into my working life, it would hardly be surprising. I am very fortunate that many of my hobbies are also related to my work, and so while this blog is an outlet for the wanderings of a rabid black grouse enthusiast, it does crossover so neatly with work at the Heather Trust, the Shooting Gazette and Solway Feeders Ltd that consciously trying to keep this blog purely for “home time” purposes starts to develop some seriously blurred lines.
As it is, I make no apology for giving a direct plug to some work I’ve been doing on the Heather Trust’s annual fundraising Country Market and Sporting Sale. There are still plenty of lots to look at on the auction website (including an awesome chance to shoot driven grouse on Speyside for (as it stands) around £50 per gun – I shot this ground in November and it was spectacular), but the best part of this year’s Sale is the Prize Draw, in which a week at the fantastic Croick Estate in Sutherland is being given away to a party of up to six. Tickets cost £10, and the winner will be drawn at random when the Sale closes on Friday.
Not only does the prize include a week’s accommodation in the lovely Manse, but a day’s hind stalking and walked up woodcock are also included. Guests can also take on more stalking by separate arrangement, and the stay can really be whatever you are prepared to make of it. Dornoch and Brora are within easy driving distance, and Ullapool and Wester Ross present some great opportunities for a day out. There are black grouse in the vicinity of the Manse, and golden eagles frequently pass over the wild and massive glen. Croick is home to four species of deer, many of which can be seen simply by looking out of the window from the comfort of the woodburner.
I was thrilled to visit Croick Estate in February when the hills were still snowbound and forboding. The current edition of the Shooting Times has more coverage of that particular trip when I stayed in the remote Creagh Mohr bothy, but suffice it to say that, while Sutherland is itself a stunning area, Croick is a particular gem.
My only regret while drafting the terms and conditions of the Prize Draw a fortnight ago was when I realised that, as an employee of the Heather Trust, I am not able to win the trip myself…
Tickets are available HERE