Beating is an essential part of any successful shoot. If you are unfamiliar with what beating actually is, basically a beater is a person who has the job of flushing birds such as pheasants or grouse from cover in the direction of the guns.
Beaters work as part of a team normally led by the Gamekeeper or Underkeeper through woodland or other cover such as gamecrops to make sure that the birds fly in the desired direction. Their job is to investigate every bit of cover in the wood and flush the birds out using a stick.
Another aspect of beating is 'flagging'. This involves standing in areas where the birds are likely to flush and waving a coloured flag to make the birds fly higher so they are a more challenging and exciting shot for the guns.
Dogs can also be used in the beating line. These dogs need to be steady and under full control so that the birds are flushed as the keeper desires. Dogs that are usually found in the beating line include spaniels and labradors, but all kinds of dogs have been trained for the role.
Beaters are often paid for the work they do, anywhere in the region of £10-30, but many do it for fun. Beating gives you the chance to get out into the outdoors and see lots of wildlife and make new friends in the process. Get out and give it a go!
photo supplied by www.nickridley.com