POACHING REMAINS A BIG PROBLEM
Some may have thought poaching was a thing of the past, but the theft of pheasants from Chesham last week suggests it is still an issue today. CAMILLA GOODMAN takes a look at its history in Bucks and sees what is being done to tackle the issue today
POACHING – the illegal hunting, killing or capturing of animals such as hares, deer or game birds – is traditionally seen as an old fashioned crime.
It was common in Bucks, especially during the 18th century, as stated by the Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions records for 1705 to 1712.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies holds an original copy and provided this paper with an extract, which says: “Poaching – as everywhere in England – was rife in Bucks and when offenders were caught it must have been necessary to deal with them promptly.”
Roger Bettridge from the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies explains: “Poaching was rife in the 18th century.
“There were lots of people who would take game for one reason or another. There’s always been game laws, but they were tightened up as a result in the early 18th century. I don’t know if Buckinghamshire was worse for poaching than anywhere else, but I suppose it could be the case that having lots of countryside meant there were more things to poach.”
I don’t know if Buckinghamshire
was worse for poaching than anywhere else, but it could be the case that having lots of countryside meant there were more things to poach”
Another link with poaching in Bucks is the well-known children’s book, Danny, the Champion of the World, by Great Missenden author Roald Dahl.
The book is believed to be set in Phasels Wood, near Chesham, and focuses on Danny and his father, William, who live in a gypsy caravan fixing cars by day and poaching pheasants at night.
Last week Thames Valley Police reported
PROBLEMS: Ian Waller of Hampden Bottom Farm, Great Missenden