Tag Archive: Recreation and Sports


From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (10th July 2013) where I look into the direction our UK Kennel Club appears to be heading in.

These are certainly turbulent times for the world of pedigree dogs. Hardly a week goes by without some edict being issued from Clarges Street that often results in the stirring up of simmering resentment! What with the reductions in CC allocation, the registration of ‘undesirable colours’ and now the talk of registering ‘cockerpoos’ and ‘doodles’. It’s certainly left a number of us scratching our heads in confusion questioning the direction in which our Kennel Club is heading?

Well it seems we need question no longer as a recent article by Ronnie Irving appears to shed light on the KC’s thinking. It appears that because 4,000 labradoodles were microchipped last year (through the KC’s microchipping system) it now feels compelled to “help and advise” the breeders of such dogs on how to breed healthy animals. One way of doing so, it claims, is to welcome them onto the Assured Breeder Scheme and encourage them to use the relevant health screening tests. Continue reading

My personal recollections of watching the brown hare in Hertfordshire and the need for a ‘close season’…

I’ve often wondered exactly what factors are needed to create a naturalist. I mean, what exactly is it that causes that insatiable thirst for information and a life long appreciation of the natural world?

I know a number of those who’ve ‘found’ nature had a sense of feeling ‘different’ from other kids – a sense of isolation. Others with a love of nature suffered bullying as children and a few (like me) had what is often described as a ‘troubled’ background.

This troubled background stemmed from a violent and alcoholic father and it was the need to escape his wrath that pushed me out into exploring our countryside, rootling through hedgerows, splashing through streams and turning over logs and rocks studying the various creepy crawlies that lived underneath.

And, whilst doing so, the memories of the smashed-up living room, broken vases or the cruel words aimed at me lost their power and prominence in my mind. Friday nights were always the most dreaded and it became a ritual to ‘evacuate’ the home and, accompanying me on many a Friday evening ramble through the Hertfordshire countryside, was my little sister (and our dog, Lucy).

It was on one such escapade that we stumbled quite by chance into the ‘Kingdom of the Hares’.

Continue reading