Below is a list of our authors - click on the name of an author to read a short biography.
Dr Cyril Bennett
Julie Bruton Seal
Dr Christopher Clegg
Dr Malcolm Greenhalgh
Mike & John Hayward
A. E. Housman
Dr Paula Sells
Dr Andrew Stachulski
Gareth B Thomas
Margaret Erskine Wilson
Alison Wilson Smith
Fiona Baird grew up in the Ashdown Forest in Sussex surrounded by well-behaved Golden Retrievers which had been bred and gundog-trained by her mother. Fiona later trained her own first bitch (Killie) to become a successful competitor in field trials and has continued breeding and training professionally ever since.
Ian Barnett is married and lives in Norfolk. He is a senior manager, specialising in environmental service delivery. His hobbies are airgun hunting, sometimes with his young son, and photography.
Ian writes regularly about his passion of 30 years, for Sporting Rifle, Airgun Shooter and Countryman’s Weekly.
Phyllida Barstow has written for for many country magazines and has been a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.
James Batty, known to his international army of online followers as ‘Leakyboots’, started fishing at the age of four. In the sixty-some years that have passed since then, he has lived in the Sudan, Tanzania, the Gambia, Botswana, the USA, and the UK; and it goes without saying that a rod never has been far from his hand. He funded his fishing habit by working as a teacher, an accountant, and an international management consultant. Born in Cornwall, James came home about twenty years ago to the rocks and beaches of his childhood, and to the bass he loves to pursue.
Tony Baws went to Grammar School in Southend and worked as a Chartered Accountant in London and Essex.
He was a voluntary warden of his local National Nature Reserve, which is part of Essex Wildlife Trust.
He is married to artist and illustrator Suzie Baws and they live in Leigh-on-Sea.
Denys Watkins-Pitchford, or 'BB' as he is known, was born in 1905. He grew up in Northamptonshire, where he spent many hours out in the open air as ill health prevented him from being sent to boarding school.
He studied art in Paris and at The Royal College of Art in London, and for seventeen years was art master at Rugby School.
He was already illustrating books before he began to write under his pseudonym, 'BB'.
The Sportsman's Bedside Book (1937) was the first to carry these now famous initials, followed by Wild Lone, the Story of the Pytchley Fox (1939) and Manka, The Sky Gypsy, The Story of a Wild Goose (1939). He was awarded the Carnegie Medal for The Little Grey Men (1941), the tale of the last gnomes in England, which established him in the forefront of literature for children. Many titles followed for both adults and children, and his reputation as a naturalist was further enhanced by his contributions to The Field, Country Life and Shooting Times.
He died in 1990.
Dr Derek Beattie is married with three daughters and retired to Ludlow from the post of Head of History at Blackburn College. He was awarded his doctorate from Lancaster University for a study of the implementation of the Addison Housing Act 1919. He is on the committee of the Ludlow Historical Research Group and has given many talks on local history both in Lancashire and Shropshire.
Julian Bedford has worked as a journalist in racing and foreign affairs for over fifteen years, alternating stints at the Sporting Life in London with stretches for Reuters and the BBC World Service in central and East Africa.
Despite the counter-attractions of coups, he has kept an ear on the racing world, placing bets on the world's big races from Somalia, Rwanda and Zaire, only to glean their demise through the vagaries of short-wave radio.
He is author of the World of Horseracing.
|Dr Cyril Bennett
Dr Cyril Bennett has been a flyfisherman for nearly 50 years during which time he has been fascinated by the fly life of rivers. He was a founder member of the Riverfly Partnership and pioneered the Anglers Monitoring Initiative to enable anglers to detect pollution incidents. His PhD with the University of London was on the ecology of mayflies and he is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society.
He lives in Amesbury, in the heart of the southern chalkstreams, and he is married with two children and two grandchildren.
Michael Brook is a retired cavalry officer whose limited career prospects tended to take second place to recreational activities, not least fieldsports and, in particular, gameshooting. He was introduced to shooting, as a small boy, by his grandfather.
He lives in North Yorkshire with his wife, Bridget.
He is keen to promote and preserve the true spirit of gameshooting.
Michael and his wife, Utta, spent most of their working lives on the Somerset Levels, Michael involved in elvers and eels and establishing a smokery and later a smokery restaurant.
Now retired they still live in the same house on the river Parrett where they stayed dry for over thirty years. Until January 2014 when one of the biggest floods ever seen on the Levels inundated their house and several others in the village of Thorney. They were to remain under water for over seven weeks.
|Julie Bruton Seal
Julie Bruton-Seal is a practising medical herbalist and naturopath. She qualified at the Selfheal School, under Dr Jill Davies and Christopher Hobbs, and is a Council member of the Association of Master Herbalists (AMH) and editor of its quarterly magazine, Nature’s Path. Julie is one of the founding organisers of HerbFest, an annual gathering celebrating healing plants and herbal medicine.
She is the co-author of Hedgerow Medicine, Wayside Medicine, Kitchen Medicine, The Herbalist's Bible and Make Your Own Aphrodisiacs. Four of these books have also been published in the USA.
She is also an artist, photographer, film-maker and writer, and has worked as a graphic designer. She co-authored the vegetarian cookbook Vegetarian Masterpieces (1988, reprinted 8 times) and contributed to a weekly newspaper column on vegetarian cooking while living in the US. She illustrated the children’s book When Elephant was King (David Bateman Books, 1996). Her photographs have been widely published in books and magazines, including National Geographic, and she has worked as a wildlife illustrator and artist for many years, holding a number of exhibitions. She has lived in several countries, and is the daughter of renowned wildlife film-makers Des and Jen Bartlett, with whom she won an Emmy in 1993 for Survivors of the Skeleton Coast.
Catherine Buckle was born in 1957 in Harare, Zimbabwe. She trained as a social worker at the University of Zimbabwe and graduated with a diploma in Social Work in 1979. She later trained as a Librarian and worked as the School Librarian and Head Counsellor at an Harare girls senior school.
Catherine was the Estate Manager of a small conservation education game park – the Mukuvis Woodlands – just outside Harare for 9 years, where she was involved in raising baby elephants, crocodiles and general game and conservation management.
In her spare time she is a writer and has four novels in print in Zimbabwe, two for children and two for teenagers.
Since 2000 she has had two non-fiction books published on the crisis in Zimbabwe: African Tears, the Zimbabwe Land Invasions and Beyond Tears, Zimbabwe's tragedy.
Catherine currently writes a weekly column for a UK daily newspaper under a pseudonym for her own protection. She also writes a weekly letter from Zimbabwe about events there. This letter is used by a number of media outlets – radio, newspaper and web sites, in South Africa, the UK, Canada and Australia. The letter is also published on her own website www.cathybuckle.com and read every week on a UK-based radio station SW Radio Africa.
Catherine is divorced and has a 16-year-old son.
Bob, a retired Area Director of Lloyds TSB Bank, took up writing as a hobby in 2001. To date he has had almost 100 articles published in magazines and newspapers and he has written eight books. His first, Fighter Writer the biography of a First World War poet was launched at the Imperial War Museum in London and he was nominated for the Saltire award in two categories.
Bob lives in a Macclesfield, Cheshire with his wife Pat. The proud father of two and an even prouder grandfather of two he is a sports fanatic.
Douglas Butler was a Doctor of Zoology and taught science at Tipperary's Rockwell College. He was a keen sporting shooter all his life and was a regular contributor to Sporting Shooter.
He lived in Country Tipperary with his wife Margaret, and their family, until his death in 2015.
Laurence Catlow writes about shooting and fishing for Trout & Salmon and Shooting Times. He is author of: Confessions of a Shooting, Fishing Man, Once a Flyfisher, Private Thoughts from a Small Shoot, That Strange Alchemy and The Healing Stream.
Laurence Catlow has a doctorate in Classics from Cambridge University and was head of Classics at Sedbergh School in Cumbria until his retirement. His interests include fishing, shooting, walking, red wine, religion and literature.
David Churchill was born ages ago in Swindon, where he still lives. He's really grateful to his grown-up daughter and son, Alison and Jon, whose combined efforts taught him how to use his computer the right way up.
After over thirty years of enjoyable teaching he now leads patients in creative writing in the local hospice supported by a Lottery Millennium Award, walks miles on the hills with his wife Jaci, fishes the Upper Thames and Bristol Avon, gardens and finds every excuse to be part of the local landscape.
He thinks his books write themselves when he's not looking, and he hopes they go on doing it.
David Clark had a career as an English and history teacher. A battlefield historian, he has written several books on the subject of British battlefields including A Brief Guide to British Battlefields (Robinson 2015), covering over a hundred British battlefield sites.
He has lived with his wife Alice in Lincolnshire since his retirement and was born and brought up across the River Humber, in Hull. His mother's family were Lincolnshire people, and his grandfather built the extension to Trinity Methodist Church in Barton-upon-Humber in 1905.
His first Lincolnshire book was Second World War Airfields in Lincolnshire (Bretwalda Books 2015).
David is a keen gardener and exhibits at agricultural shows.
Michael Clayton is the author of over 20 books on equestrianism and hunting. He was the Editor of Horse & Hound for over two decades, and gained a wide following for his weekly column Foxford’s Hunting Diary which entailed hunting with over 200 packs of hounds throughout the British Isles and in North America.
He was formerly an international TV and radio reporter for the BBC, including war reporting in Vietnam, Cambodia and the Middle East.
He is now retired and lives in Leicestershire with his wife Marilyn.
|Dr Christopher Clegg
Dr Christopher Clegg is a biological research scientist with numerous published articles to his name. He lived in Scotland for several years and returns there frequently, to walk over the many mountain peaks and along remote trails, with occasional encounters with local wildlife.
Rosemary Coates studied at the Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing, Oxford University. Famous for her paintings of domestic animals, her maps of UK racecourses and hunting countries, she lives in Northamptonshire.
Prue Coats was born in Scotland and grew up in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses. During the war she worked for the Free French and afterwards for the British Bloodstock Agency.
In 1952 she married Archie Coats, the famous wood pigeon shooter. Their life together was filled with good sport which led to the pleasures of the table and many convivial friendships. All this reflected in her varied and excellent recipes.
Prue Coats is a well-known contributor to Shooting Times and The Field.
Jim Corbett (1875–1955) was born in Naini Tal, northern India, the eighth child of Christopher and Mary Corbett. His father was postmaster there. Jim as a youth spent all his spare time in the surrounding jungle, mesmerised by its rich flora and fauna.
John Cowan was born in the Scottish Borders and spent his early years exploring the surrounding countryside and learning about its wildlife, trying to glean as much knowledge as possible from the old countrymen and their working dogs.
Hugh Cran qualified as a veterinary surgeon in Scotland in the early-1960s and answered a small ad. in 1966 to work in Kenya.
He's there today, married with three daughters, still running his practice in Nakuru. As well as working as a vet, writing and climbing mountains, Hugh is an Honorary Consular Correspondent, covering an area from Nakuru to the Ethiopian border.
Stephen Dalton has been a world-class professional photographer since the 1970s.
Maynard Davies is one of the last apprentice-boy bacon curers, and he was trained in the dying arts of his trade in post-war Staffordshire. Becoming a master bacon curer, he went on to expand his repertoire by travelling to America where he taught the inmates of a large prison how to cure. With a young family, he then set up a small-holding in the Peak District and ran an (eventually) very successful farm, with home-spun smoking, curing and selling direct to the public.
Maynard has four daughters and he and his wife Ann live in north Shropshire where he is still regarded as one of the country's leading experts in his field. In order to pass on his expertise as he retired, he has written up all his practical curing and smoking advice in his full-colour Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer, published in September 2009.
Maynard has been hailed by Rick Stein as a 'Food Hero' and he has been on The Food Programme and several television programmes on quality, traditional British food.
Maynard has published two books about his 'life in bacon', the first part in Maynard, Adventures of a Bacon Curer and the second part in Maynard, Secrets of a Bacon Curer.
Helen Ebrey was born in 1911 into a large poor family who lived in the village of Myddle in Shropshire.
She left in 1928 aged 17 for domestic service near Liverpool. Later, working in domestic service in Birmingham.
She married in Harold Ivings 1937 and remained living in a city for the next 60 years. Helen died aged 86 in 1997 and is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Brown.
Roger Evans has been an articulate dairy and poultry farmer all his life. From his Shropshire farm, he writes in a well-informed, realistic and funny way about all aspects of his life as a farmer today.
Conor Farrington is a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and a College Research Associate at Jesus College, Cambridge. Following post-graduate degrees in Political Theory and Philosophy and a PhD in Geography, he now specialises in public policy and medical sociology.
In addition to publications in academic journals such as The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, he has written on literary and musical topics in The Times Literary Supplement, The Wall Street Journal and The Pianist magazine.
His interests include fishing, sailing and music.
Brought up in Aberdeenshire, he now lives in Cambridgeshire with his wife Claire.
Born in New Jersey in 1890, Negley Farson was raised by his eccentric grandfather, General Negley, a veteran of the American civil war. Fishing and sailing on the Chesapeke Bay were his constant escape as a boy, combined with a born wunderlust - which took him, eventually, all over the world, his fishing rod a vital part of his luggage.
He began his married life on a houseboat in British Columbia in 1920 and he died in 1960 at his home in North Devon - 'the perfect place for journey's end' - when he was seventy.
Tony Francis has produced and presented more than 500 countryside and wildlife programmes for TV, including the award-winning series Heart of the Country. He has been a regular columnist with the Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph on rural and sporting matters. A high profile sports presenter on ITV, he has covered many football World Cups, Olympic Games and England cricket tours. He ran his own television production company for 24 years. Author of ten books, Tony has also recently developed a reputation as an artist.
Dominic Garnett is hailed as ‘Britain’s most promising young angling writer’ (Angling Times). He caught his first canal fish, a rudd, as a small boy sitting in the beer garden of a waterside pub. He is just as keen today – although you might find the cheap fibreglass pole and pint glass of maggots replaced by anything from a match rod to specimen or even fly tackle.
Renowned for his lucid, entertaining writing, Dominic is an angling all-rounder with over 200 articles to his name in the UK and abroad, from Angling Times to Fly Fishing & Fly Tying. His aim is to put the fun and soul back into fishing, as well as to instruct. His convention-busting adventures have also featured on the Sky Sports and National Geographic TV channels, while his debut hardback Flyfishing for Coarse Fish became a bestseller. This is his third book.
|Dr Malcolm Greenhalgh
The Lancastrian name of Greenhalgh comes from the hamlet of that name between Kirkham and Poulton-le-Fylde (a de Greenhalgh was there in about 1270). Malcolm Greenhalgh was born in Bolton, and educated at Kirkham Grammar School and Lancaster University. After that he moved to Tarleton, working and lecturing on wildlife on the Ribble. Since then, from his home at Lowton, he has been a freelance writer, spending much time researching books about north-west England. His first book was Wildfowl of the Ribble Estuary (1975), and more recent ones include Flavours of Lancashire and The Ribble: River and Valley.
Malcolm has also written extensively on natural history and angling. He co-wrote, with Hugh Falkus The Salmon and Seatrout Fisher's Handbook. He attends international conferences on salmon and has worked closely with many of the leading conservationists.
Diggory Hadoke was born in Hereford in 1967. He has been involved with British sporting guns since childhood.
Diggory now lives in Ludlow, Shropshire, and is the director
After a career in magazines and journalism, D.P. Hart-Davis was fiction-buyer for the Mirror Group.
Duff Hart-Davis joined the Sunday Telegraph on its inception in 1961 and later travelled extensively as a feature reporter in India, Nepal, Turkey, Caribbean, Norway, South Africa, Ascension Island. Shooting trips took him to Siberia, Poland and Hungary.
Duff was brought up on a farm in Oxfordshire. He did his National Service in Germany and read Classics at Oxford.
He is married with two children and now lives on a farm in the Cotswolds.
|Mike & John Hayward
Mike and John Hayward are a father-and-son team of professional landscape photographers with a great passion for their native Shropshire.
Raised among the wonderful trout lochs of Orkney, Stan Headley has been a passionate fly fisherman for over 30 years. His expert knowledge of Scottish wild trout derives from a study of all aspects of trout behaviour and ecology, for he is firmly convinced that to understand the way of your quarry is to be a better angler.
Stan has also spend the last 21 years trying to master fly fishing for salmon, an art which he freely admits is difficult, frustrating and often illogical! He is a former Scottish National Fly Fishing Champion and continues to represent his country in international fly fishing matches.
He is a regular contributor to Trout & Salmon magazine and other fishing journals and his contributions to the angling press over the past 23 years have made him a familiar name to trout fisherman in Britain. His fly-tying talents (as the colour plates in his book Trout & Salmon Flies of Scotland show) have established him as one of the best 'traditional wet fly' tyers of modern times. He has also created many innovative fly patterns, some of which, such as the Doobry, Fast Eddie, Palmered March Brown and West Daddy, have become standards.
|A. E. Housman
Born in 1859 in the village of Fockbury in Worcestershire, Alfred Edward Housman was the eldest of seven children.
He was educated at Bromsgrove School and later read Classics at
After a period as a Clerk in the Patent Office in London he returned to academia becoming Professor of Latin at Cambridge University.
He died in 1936 and his ashes are interred in the shadow of the walls of St Laurence’s church, Ludlow.
Alastair Jackson began his working life as a trainee land agent in the Duke of Beaufort’s hunting country. Hunting soon became his career, from Joint Master of the West Percy Foxhounds in Northumberland, to the South Dorset where he was Master for eleven seasons, followed by distinguished stints at the Grafton and the Cattistock. He has since been Press Officer at the Countryside Alliance and Director of the Masters of Foxhounds Association. He is a well known judge of hounds at all the major shows in Europe and USA.
He is also a talented writer and illustrator who has contributed regularly to Horse and Hound. He is the author of The Great Hunts and is a renowned illustrator of many books, including A Short History of Foxhunting which he co-wrote.
Alastair lives in Gloucestershire with his wife Tessa.
Born in Kenya in 1949, educated at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester and University of Wales, Jeremy James spent most of his early life working with horses and cattle in Africa and the Middle East.
Bob Kennard has championed mutton for over 20 years and his support for independent abattoirs has been honoured with a ‘Best Campaigner Award’ from BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
Peter Klein was born in Middlesex, and took an Honours degree in Medieval and Modern History at Birmingham University.
For many years he lived at Ludlow in Shropshire, where he researched and wrote books and articles on the local history of the town and the surrounding area, and where he was a founding member of the local history group.
Her now lives happily in rural Herefordshire, with his wife, Debby, and a geriatric cat. His passions include walking in the countryside, watching wild birds, and visiting medieval chuches.
He is the proud father of three daughters, and grandfather to five grand-children.
Peter Lapsley, who died in August 2013, was an inveterate fisher of trout, sea trout and grayling in the UK and overseas for over 50 years and was a qualified game angling instructor.
He contributed countless articles to a wide range of British and overseas game angling and field sports magazines. The Pocket Guide to Matching the Hatch was the eleventh book he had written (or in this case co-written).
Peter fished chiefly on the chalkstreams and stillwaters of southern England but always had a soft spot for the wild trout waters of Scotland and Ireland.
Patrick Laurie was born and brought up in Dumfries and Galloway, where he developed a love for birds and country sports from an early age. Educated at Shrewsbury School and the University of Glasgow, he obtained a degree in Scottish Language and Literature before embarking on a career as a freelance journalist.
Steve Lee runs a photographic studio and Prop House in central London. His work regularly appears in national newspapers and magazines, and he is in demand internationally.
Leon Links, who lives in Amsterdam, is a fishing journalist and school teacher. He was first introduced to the flytying material CDC by fellow Dutch author and angler Kees Ketting, in the early 1980s. Since then he has fished with CDC flies on the difficult rivers of the Belgian Ardennes with remarkable success and has become an enthusiastic convert to the miraculous qualities of this special feather.
An accomplished flytyer himself, Links is well known in European flytying circles, and his research for his book Tying Flies with CDC, took him to many parts of Europe, interviewing fellow experts, tying CDC flies and fishing with them.
Dr David Lloyd was born in Ludlow and went to the local Grammar School. In 1953 he won an exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford. He had a varied career in education, becoming Deputy Head of a large comprehensive school, and then teaching at the Open University and at the Department of Continuing Studies at Birmingham University.
He moved back to Ludlow in 1985, and was very much involved in the local community, holding several public offices, including that of Mayor and Churchwarden of St Laurence's parish church, Ludlow.
He wrote a number of books and lectured widely on Ludlow and wider historical topics, both in this country and in the United States. He also completed a doctorate thesis on 18th century Ludlow. In 1998 he was awarded the MBE for services to local history and the community.
In later years, David ran a series of very popular historical lectures and he frequently gave guided historical tours.
He died on 17 May 2009.
Donald MacIntosh was the eldest son of a Perthshire woodcutter and a mother from the Isle of Mull. After studying forestry in Argyll, he spent 30 years as a tree prospector/surveyor in West Africa, spending months at a time going 'native' deep into the equatorial rainforests. He wrote for several publications before his death in 2014 and he was the author of six books.
Philip Maher grew up by the River Suir at Ballycamus, Ireland, where he mastered the art of dry fly fishing for wild brown trout on slow-moving water, where presentation and accuracy are essential. Philip's skills were apparent from an early age. He won the first of many Munster Juvenile River Championships at the age of 8, going on to win All-Ireland Senior in 1995 at the age of 20. He was Captain of the Irish Team in the 1996 World Championships in the Czech Republic, finishing top Irish rod.
Already a proficient angler, Philip sought to understand more fully the mechanics and techniques of casting. He took the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) exams, passing both his Certified and Masters Fly Casting Instructor qualifications in one weekend. Subsequently he passed both his salmon and trout Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors (APGAI) exams.
Philip now lives in Canada.
Chris Mann, who died in 2015, had a peripatetic upbringing in which his parents moved constantly and he attended ten different schools.
He learned to fish on the gravel pit ponds of Essex, and on moving to live in Scotland at the age of twelve, he discovered the joys of flyfishing.
He trained as a graphic designer, before specialising in computer software development in Germany. After many years working all over Western Europe, he moved back to England where he now combined his graphic design commissions with website design and writing books on flytying.
John Masefield was born in Ledbury in 1878, orphaned at the age of six, and after a period at sea training for a naval career, he worked on the Manchester Guardian. In 1902 his Salt-Water Ballads was published, incorporating his celebrated poem, ‘Sea Fever’. A year later he married and he and Constance had a daughter, followed by a son who later died in action in 1942. 1903 saw publication of a further volume of Masefield poems including ‘Cargoes’. During WWI, Masefield served overseas with the Red Cross, afterwards settling to enjoy rural life in Oxfordshire.
In 1920, he wrote Right Royal as well as some other narrative poems.
Masefield was Poet Laureate from 1930 until his death in 1967.
Jill Mason was one of Britain’s first women gamekeepers, a job which she enjoyed for over 30 years. She has lived and worked in the countryside all her life and has written for several country and fieldsports magazines.
She is the author of several books including The Rabbit, The Hare and The Townies’ Guide to the Countryside, Rural England, and Away My Lads, Away and The Ennerdale and Eskdale Hunt.
Peter McLeod has worked in flyfishing travel for over 20 years, visiting over 60 operations in 20 different countries in his quest to find the finest fly fishing experiences available. He founded Aardvark McLeod international flyfishing specialists in 2005. He started as a salmon guide in Norway at 16, but over the last 18 years saltwater fishing has become his prime focus.
Rodger McPhail was born in Lancashire in 1953. He is an internationally-renowned wildlife artist. His love and enthusiasm for the countryside and its birds and animals are evident in his work.
Born in the colonies, educated in England, Richard Middleton is a member of the Society of Archer Antiquaries and now lives in the Colonies again.
His wife, who edited out all the vainglorious bits of this biography (which is why it is now so short), has declined (refused point-blank) to have The Practical Guide to Man-Powered Bullets dedicated to her, and only wishes it recorded that she is a saint for putting up with all Richard's experimental weapon-making activities.
Though Richard's interest always returns to the simple catapult, over the last 30 years he has made countless bows, crossbows, and even airguns to study the velocity and trajectory patterns of their missiles. He likes to test things for himself rather than to believe handed-down orthodoxies - an attitude not without its costs, some might add.
Ed Miller was born in 1933 into a long line of Ribble estuary shooters and fishers. After his education at King Edward VII School, Lytham, he joined a Lancashire freelance press agency and remained in full-time journalism for eight years.
At 26 he bought Entwistle Guns, in Blackpool, a business established in the late Victorian era, and shortly afterwards opened a branch in Preston.
Adhering to a long-term plan, he retired to the Lake District before he was 50 to 'play village cricket and do a lot more shooting and fishing'.
A serious cycling accident in 1990 threatened to end his active life, but he recovered sufficiently to resume his beloved goose shooting.
Now he concentrates on driving his teenage son, Jago, in the early hours of winter mornings, to marshes as far apart as the Ribble, Morecambe Bay and the Solway. All are reachable in little more than an hour from their Cumbrian base.
'The frisson of pre-drawn forays and the sounds, sights and smells of saltings - they stir me as much as they did over 60 years ago.'
Derek Mills was involved in fisheries research and teaching for over 60 years. Following eight years running a salmon research scheme on the river Conon basin, he was awarded a Ph.D. by London University and in 1965 was appointed to the staff of Edinburgh University.
He was the former Chairman of the scientific research committee of the Atlantic Salmon Trust, chairman of the Scottish Branch of the Institute of Fisheries Management, a trustee of the Tweed Foundation and a Tweed Commissioner. For his extensive salmon research, he was awarded a D.Sc. by the University of Edinburgh.
He died in January 2018 at his home in Melrose in the Scottish Borders.
Dennis Moss is a regular contributor to Trout & Salmon magazine. He spent his working career in the fishing tackle trade; his spare time mastering boat fishing from England's classic stillwater reservoirs, to the Outer Hebrides and Irish loughs.
He now lives in retirement on Lough Corrib.
Frances Mountford spent her early years following her father round his farm and taking pleasure in the animals, machinery, flowers and horses, many of which she sketched.
Liam Mulvin has worked as a postman since 1972, originally in Farnham, Surrey. He later moved to Cornwall and now delivers the mail from the St Mawes Post Office. He is a member of a Cornish writers group and is a local Watch Keeper for the National Coastwatch Institute.
Miles Napier is a former handicapper under Jockey Club and National Hunt Rules. He is the author of books on bloodstock breeding and racing. For over forty years a contributor to the Irish Field, he also wrote articles for The South African Racehorse, Owner-Breeder (California), Hoof Beats (New Zealand).
He lectured at the National Stud, and is a member of the Elite Racing Club.
Miles lives in Lincolnshire with his wife Mary.
Ian Niall (1916-2002) was the pen name of John McNeillie, author of over forty books on country matters, including The Poacher's Handbook and The Way of a Countryman.
In 1990 he celebrated forty years as a columnist, at one point both for The Spectator and for Country Life where he was known and loved by a wide public for his weekly ‘Countryman’s Notes’.
He was born in Scotland and he spent his formative years on his grandfather’s farm in Wigtownshire, recalled in A Galloway Childhood. He and his wife then lived in Wales and, later, the Chilterns. They had three children. His son Andrew McNeillie, Professor Emeritus at Exeter University, is the author of a biographical memoir of his father, Ian Niall: Part of his Life.
Peter O'Reilly was Ireland's leading authority on the trout and salmon fishing for which his country is justifiably famous.
Before his retirement, Peter was Game Angling Advisor to the Central Fisheries Board of Ireland, assessing the angling potential of the rivers and loughs. It was a job which took him to all corners of the country, visiting fisheries and talking to local experts, anglers and fishery managers about the condition of their fisheries and how they might be further improved.
He was a regular contributor to Trout & Salmon magazine. He lectured on angling at University College Dublin and was a fully qualified AGPAI flycasting instructor. His courses at Delphi Lodge and Ballynahinch Castle were much in demand and he also gave tuition on a one-to-one basis.
Peter was an avid and skilful angler. He represented Ireland at international level, not only at flyfishing but also, together with his son Patrick, as a member of the Irish Clay Pigeon Team.
He lived with his wife Rose in Navan, County Meath, within sight of his beloved River Boyne. From his house he could (almost) see the trout rising. He died in December 2018.
David Overland was born in Newport, Wales, in 1960 and throughout his working life as a civil servant, for the charity sector and later in the ornamental fish industry, he’s also worked as a Freelance Illustrator, writing and drawing comics, book illustrations and record covers.
Peter Owen, artist and keen angler, lives in Leamington Spa. He contributes articles to many fishing magazines.
Dame Shirley Paget to all who knew her, Elizabeth Shirley Vaughan Paget, Marchioness of Anglesey (1924-17) first worked in the Foreign Office. She was a keen member of the WI and later became President of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes 1966-69. She had five children and was invested as CBE, DBE and LVO.
Steve Palin was born in Liverpool and has been a teacher all his life, for 17 years of which he was a headteacher. He has been publishing his artwork for over 25 years, often combining a love of language with illustration. His previous books include A Dissimulation of Birds, A Menagerie of Animals, and The Songs of Birds. His artwork was displayed most recently in the National Exhibition of Wildlife Art in July 2012.
Roger Penwill is the founder of the Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival and co-founder of the Professional Cartoonists Organisation. He is a past President of the International Federation of Cartoonists Organisations and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
You can visit Roger's website at www.penwill.com
Theo Pike is an environmental, angling and marketing writer.
Frank Priestley began his working life as a young laboratory
Richard Robinson was brought up by his grandparents at Botany Bay Farm, on the Withnell Moorlands, where he spent the first 19 years of his life.
He served his apprenticeship as a stonemason and worked on Blackburn Cathedral and the building of Darwen Tower. He left the district in 1902 and enlisted in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry Regiment.
After the war he returned to Withnell carrying on his trade as stonemason, working mainly in the locality, into his 70s.
A keen amateur local historian, he died at his home in Brinscall on 12 June 1963.
Malcolm Schuyl is a biologist with a special interest over the last 25 years in ecology and conservation.
Alexander Schwab grew up in Switzerland and gained a Masters Degree in philosophy and history at Aberdeen University.
He now lives in the beautiful Emmental Region of Switzerland and fills the gaps between fishing trips by working as a management consultant.
His hobbies include mushrooming, cooking, exploring the countryside and reading poetry.
Matthew Seal’s first recorded proper words (according to his mother, who wouldn’t exaggerate on such a matter) were ‘meadowsweet’, uttered on a nature walk in the River Trent marshes when he was nearly three. Matthew grew up in a family of gardeners and botanists and, while not following his kinfolk into professional gardening or horticulture, he has never forgotten this early ‘greening’.
He is the co-author of Hedgerow Medicine, Wayside Medicine, Kitchen Medicine, The Herbalist's Bible and Make Your Own Aphrodisiacs. Four of these books have also been published in the USA.
He has worked as an editor and writer in books, magazines and newspapers for over thirty-five years, in both the UK and South Africa. He ran over a hundred marathons and ultra-marathons while living in South Africa and is author of Survive and Thrive in the New South Africa (How To Books, 2000). In addition to his ongoing freelance editing, he has experience in design and production. He was for three years revise sub-editor of Business Report, the largest-selling business daily in South Africa and he is currently publications director of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP).
|Dr Paula Sells
Dr Paula Sells learnt to ride on Welsh Mountain ponies by rounding up sheep in north Wales. She hunted with the Flint & Denbigh, Cheshire Forest and Cheshire Hunts. She has evented at Burghley.
Photographer Helen Shaw lives and works in the Forest of Bowland, near the picturesque village of Slaidburn. Semi-finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, the Queen chose one of her local landscapes as her 80th birthday present. Helen is a member of the Professional Garden Photographers Association.
Mark Sisson is a professional, award-winning wildlife and nature photographer. Internationally and in the UK, his work is regularly published in an array of books and journals, such as BBC Wildlife, Birds and The Shropshire Magazine, and he has a long-standing contract with the RSPB for their image library.
He co-runs the leading wildlife photography holiday and workshop business, Nature’s Images. In 2011 he won the Video Category in the British Wildlife Photography Awards for his work on Great Crested Grebes filmed in Shropshire. Mark has written or co-authored three other books. He lives in Newport, Shropshire.
José Souto was born of Spanish parents. He has worked as chef for many years at the House of Commons and now is senior lecturer of the Butchery Department at London’s internationally-respected Westminster Kingsway College. He is a demonstrator chef for Taste of Game and for the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC). He is a keen stalker and falconer.
|Dr Andrew Stachulski
Dr Andrew Stachulski is a senior research fellow at Liverpool University and lives near Blackburn, Lancashire. He has climbed all the major Lake District fells, all the Munros, walked the Pennine Way, Coast to Coast Walk and Offa’s Dyke path. He has written a book, Home Ground, a collection of 20 walks in north-west England and has contributed to many walking magazines.
Douglas Sutherland (1919-95), author and journalist, was born in Appleby, Westmoreland and had always been fascinated by the local tales of the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, as related by the tenants and miners of Whitehaven, and by the Lonsdale family who co-operated with him in this biography.
John Symonds is a keen fly-fisherman and fishes for salmon, trout and grayling in the Wye and Usk catchments as well as the Welsh borderlands.
He decided to become a certified casting instructor and guide as a retirement occupation and has successfully qualified to Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors (APGAI) single- and double-handed levels, and is an International Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF) Two-Handed Casting Instructor (THCI).
John’s other interests include photography and graphic design. He lives in Hereford.
Geoff Taylor lives in the Shropshire village of Rushbury. His early love of photography led to a first-class honours degree in the subject as a mature student, followed by a Masters in Art and Design. He is an Associate of The Royal Photographic Society and the British Institute of Professional Photography, and has exhibited throughout the UK. Geoff now works as a tutor in Photography and Digital Art with the Open College of the Arts. He enjoys various outdoor activities including hill walking with his wife Lorna.
|Gareth B Thomas
Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, Gareth Thomas lives in Ludlow, Shropshire.
His striking local landscapes, and his images of wildlife, reflect his intimate knowledge of the area and its natural history: he had earlier practised as a local vet for 24 years before devoting himself full-time to photography.
His photographic images appear in countless books and journals and, as prints, hang in many houses worldwide.
Bob Thompson started riding at the age of six and he rode in his first point-to-point at sixteen. He was commissioned into The Life Guards (Household Cavalry) in 1966.
Anthea Toft was born in Kent, but moved as a child evacuee to Shropshire during World War II. She later trained as a teacher and returned to live in the county to work with blind children.
Rebecca Welshman has been researching and writing about the works of Richard Jefferies for more than a decade.
Stanley John Weyman was born in Ludlow in 1855 and educated at Shrewsbury School and Christ Church College, Oxford where he obtained a degree in Modern History.
He died in 1928.
Jonathan White has flyfished widely for trout, sea trout and salmon in the western USA, the Kola, Iceland, Chile and Argentina, as well as saltwater flyfishing in the Seychelles and Bahamas.
He started flyfishing on the river Teme in Shropshire as a ten-year-old and has now fished the Welsh border streams regularly for 45 years.
James Williams spent a lifetime otter watching, from his boyhood in the Lake District, to his adult life in Somerset. He taught English in Taunton, but his west-country residence gave him the opportunity to study and record the changing fortunes of this elusive and fascinating mammal, from its near-extinction in the mid-1980s to its remarkable, though precarious, recovery today.
Margaret Wilson lives in Leebotwood near Church Stretton. After working in Paris, Madrid and London as a business translator she moved, with her husband and son, to Shropshire. Here, she enjoys walking in the hills, exploring the towns and villages and learning about the county’s folklore. She works as a literary editor and proof-reader. Her hobbies include gardening, making theatrical costumes and travel.
|Margaret Erskine Wilson
Margaret Erskine Wilson (b.1915), read modern languages at Girton College Cambridge, then studied Textile Design at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London, until the war broke out in 1939.
|Alison Wilson Smith
Alison Wilson Smith was born in 1938 and was evacuated with her two sisters during the war. She later trained as a nurse in London, then turned her mind and energies to her three children and four stepchildren (at one point all under the age of seven!)
Tristan Wood is a long-standing member of the Club Taurino of London, the foremost gathering of English-speaking aficionados, Tristan has edited the Club’s prestigious bi-monthly magazine, La Divisa, for the past eight years.
In addition to writing on bullfighting, Tristan has published books on motor racing and on the changing role of men in a post-feminist world.
He lives in London with his partner Sally.
Chris Yates has been a compulsive carp catcher from a very early age. He finds the fish infinitely fascinating and their pursuit closest to what Walton called ‘the contemplative recreation.’ Yet, despite the peacefulness and beauty of the carp lake, there is always a thrilling undercurrent of tension, that in a moment the peace will be shattered and the angler will find himself attached to a monster. It is this aspect of carp fishing that the author conveys to brilliantly.
Jimmy Younger started as an apprentice flydresser in Kelso in 1955, later working for other companies until he helped set up a flydressing company ‘Sutherland Fly’ in Helmsdale and became the manager/tutor.
In 1969 he won The Professional Class of the Fly Dressers Guild competition and set up a flydressing enterprise in Hong Kong where he and his wife stayed for six years before returning to Sutherland. Here he started up his own company, Anglercraft, and met Megan Boyd as they were both flydressers. Shortly before Megan died she passed over all her flytying material, papers and documents to Jimmy.
Jimmy died in April 2017.