Woodcock petition timeline

Woodcock. Photo: Tim Melling


early March – we talk about Woodcock shooting

mid March – we talk to our lawyers about Woodcock shooting

21 March – we write to Defra and the Northern Ireland minister suggesting that the Woodcock shooting season should be shortened by two months in order to give the declining British population more protection – click here.

6 April – GWCT make the first of many shooting industry attempts to muddy the waters on Woodcock shooting seasons but their own website says (and still does say) don’t shoot Woodcock until 1 December- click here

8 April – we take the micky out of the nonsensical GWCT position – click here

12 July – our patience is exhausted with lack of Defra response to our letter so we launch a petition calling for a shortening of the Woodcock shooting season. We call for the shooting season to start on 1 December and not 1 October (England, Wales and Northern Ireland, 1 September in Scotland). On this very day the petition passes 10,000 signatures which triggers the need for a response from Defra – click here.

3 August – Defra responds to the petition, because of the 10,000 signatures having been achieved but the response is poor and we complain to the Petitions Committee about the quality of the response – click here.

7 September – the Petitions Committee agrees with our assessment of the Defra response and tells Defra to do better – click here

27 September – Defra changes direction and on his last day in his job as Secretary of State at Defra George Eustice signals that the department agrees to review the shooting season for Woodcock and impacts of shooting on other species – click here

30 September – petition passes 30,000 signatures – click here

10 October – petition passes 50,000 signatures – click here

12 November – petition passes 60,000 signatures – click here

31 December – petition passes 100,000 signatures and earns the opportunity to be debated in the Westminster parliament – click here


25 January – petition closes on 107,916 signatures with West Dorset and North Norfolk being the top two constituencies – click here.

27 February – our petition is debated in Westminster Hall and receives a positive response from MPs and government – click here

… to be continued