Opinion: Why I love the country life

Claire Beedle with dogs Max and Max
Claire Beedle with dogs Max and Max

I am born and raised in Easington on a small family farm, owned by my Dad – he is the second generation to farm the land there.

My brother now does the daily running of the farm. He has beef cattle, sheep, and pigs and grows various crops.

I have always loved animals and when I was growing up I had a Labrador cross Collie and Springer Spaniel, several rabbits and Guinea pigs. Growing up on the farm, I used to sell the eggs from my own goldline hybrids chickens laid.

I started riding when I was very young and when I was three years old, my Mam and Dad went, away leaving my Nanna in charge.

I was on my pony and a cat jumped on the garden wall causing her to spook and I got thrown off in to a nettle bush … I remember it was very prickly!

I was always getting into trouble out riding and when I was about 10 years old I went out for a ride on my own and I fell off and hurt my ankle, I had to hobble all the way home about a mile, leading him all the way.

My riding days are over, I still have a horse now but he has retired.

Now I have ferrets as pets but also use them for pest control on the farm, mainly to catch rabbits.

I love dogs and have several as pets, two Labradors, one Lurcher, two Spaniels- one Cocker and one Springer –they are my gun dogs for when I go beating.

Our job as beaters is to guide the birds in to the direction of the guns.

They will be lined up throughout the woods, fields, moor etc to drive the birds to the guns.

Game keepers are there to run the days to make sure all the beaters know what they are doing, using radios to communicate with each other. There is also a team of picker uppers who stand behind the guns and they pick up the birds that have been shot.

I like going beating as I like been out in the country side with my dogs and meeting new people that come on the shoots.

I love all country pursuits and being out in the countryside, I enjoy walking on the beach or on the moors with my dogs and go to local hunt meets with my dad.

As the shooting season is in full swing at the moment I divide my time between beating on small local shoots and my job at Dunsley Hall heading up front of house in the restaurant and bar, where we support the Mulgrave Castle shoot.