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The Knowledge - Every Gun's guide to conservation

The Knowledge - Every Gun's guide to conservation

Regular price £15.95
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Whether you’re new to shooting, a seasoned gun or just keen to learn more about the way the British countryside is managed, The Knowledge is for you. Featuring over 200 pages of easy-to-read questions and answers such as:
  • How do you define a wild pheasant?
  • Why are grey partridges on the quarry list when they are in national decline?
  • Why do gamebirds need supplementary food?
  • Does predation control have wider conservation benefits?
  • What UK habitats do woodcock prefer?
  • What should Guns look out for on a shoot day?

The Knowledge draws on over 150 scientific publications to provide you with a robust introduction into quarry species, the management of both habitat and predators and all the latest issues surrounding shooting and conservation. You will also learn key information about a typical day’s shooting – from important health & safety tips to guidance on game handling and security.

Once you have read The Knowledge you can take our FREE Accredited Game Shot Test online.

What this book is

  • Filling the conservation gap in the existing shooting guide library.
  • To explain some of what goes on behind the scenes the rest of the year outside shoot days, and reveal the ways in which a gamekeeper is a working conservationist whose job involves much more than looking after gamebirds.
  • Focused on improving standards in released bird shooting and encouraging wild game management. Hence the Code of Good Shooting Practice is quoted throughout.
  • A guide for both experienced Shots and people starting out with no understanding of the background to shooting.
  • Designed to give Guns the right questions to ask their own shoots or the ones they visit or buy days from to discover the level of quality and encourage the change we all want to see. (example questions are included at the end of each chapter).
  • An introduction to wild grey partridge conservation as a key part of our preserving our shooting and countryside heritage and an indicator of the health of the farmland ecology.
  • A guide to some of the most controversial issues of the day affecting shooting, e.g. lead shot and use of medication in game rearing.
  • An account of the law relevant to a Gun’s experience of a shoot day. Contrary to the idea that shooting is unregulated, it is governed by a vast amount of legislation covering every aspect of shoot management.


  • Introduction and welcome
  • Pheasants
  • Red-legged partridge
  • Grey partridge
  • Habitat management
    • Suitable habitat: the right environment
    • Foraging habitat: for food
    • Winter cover crops: for shelter
    • Nesting cover: for safe nest sites
    • Woodland management
    • Supplementary feeding
  • Predation control
  • Other quarry species to look out for
    • Woodcock
    • Wildfowl
  • Lead ammunition
  • Game as food
  • Diseases and medication
  • Research and monitoring
  • What Guns need to know on shoot day
    • Health and safety
    • Quarry, predator and pest species
    • Range and distance
    • Retrieval and handling of game
    • Shooting and the public
    • Certification and permission
    • Security
  • Shooting and game management glossary
  • Appendices
  • References


“I started reading The Knowledge at work at half eight in the morning and didn’t put it down until lunchtime. In some ways I got very little done that day but I learnt a huge amount. It is an indispensable read for anyone involved in shooting today.”
Patrick Galbraith – Editor, Shooting Times Magazine

“I would give this book to every person that wants to start game shooting. I would also put it in the Christmas stocking of everybody that already shoots. I learned a lot from reading it. Most Guns will do the same.”
Professor Simon Denny, Executive Dean of Research, Impact & Enterprise, University of Northampton

“A really good book. A must read for everyone, but especially anyone who shoots game and particularly new guns, to ensure they understand the conservation benefits of shooting. My copy will certainly be on display and available for all the guns to read this coming season! Thank you GWCT, the work you do is brilliant!”
Ms. M – GWCT Member

“A very interesting and useful book. I’d recommend it without hesitation to anybody interested in conservation, shooting or the great British countryside in general.”
Mr. N – GWCT Member

“I bought this for my daughter who is a gamekeeping student at Newton Rigg college. It covers so much of the course material that I’m sure it will be recommended reading in future. And of course I have read it cover to cover before handing it over.”
Mr. T – GWCT Customer

“Excellent publication, clear plain English giving all involved in shooting much science backed knowledge to support our sport. Great work GWCT.”
Mr. G – GWCT Member

“Very informative and nicely set out. A must for all guns. Thank you.”
Mr. S – GWCT Member

“This book is attractively produced with good layout and illustrations and is reasonably priced for its size and amount of content.”
Mark Avery – Former RSPB Director of Conservation

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