Throughout the Spring and Summer, I demonstrate across the length and breadth of the UK during the busy show season. To many, I am a unique character in modern day Britain, if not the world as I am one of a small band of people that make their entire living from rabbits. Not content with that , I am also an author of many books including the acclaimed ‘Ahead of the Game’, a book on the history, harvest, preparation and cooking of wild rabbit of which forms the provenance of my demonstrations.
What makes me different? Well, I like to think that I have a inimitable demonstration which in an amusing manner educates the full mechanics of ferreting to the wider world whilst enticing them into his world of ferrets, dogs and rabbits.
Simon has demonstrated at all the major UK events and currently performs at over thirty plus shows. From a village green to The Game Fair and in-between, Simon’s arena demonstrations are ranked amongst the most entertaining and popular on the UK show circuit. His shows are constantly evolving and now Simon has incorporated his lurcher, and this has taken the already popular demonstration to a new level.
Thirty minutes of education, amusing action packed unscripted drama that blossom as he regales the ferrets’ journey. Often copied but never bettered, this demonstration by a team who earn their living “rabbiting” is an unequalled demonstration amongst the arena events across the UK. Simon definitely puts the “ferret” back into ferreting.
Not content with supplying a first-class act in the arena he also delivers a static display of some note. Through his static display, Simon educates the world about the ferret, rabbit and how the entwined relationship between the two has played out throughout our history. Publication quality photographs, illustrations and a TV screen illustrate the craft he relies on to provide food, shelter and clothing for his family. In short, the art of ferreting and the welfare of working ferrets are explained in full.
In-between demonstrations Simon, his ferrets and dogs are on hand for interaction with the public and as popular the arena demonstrations are, the static display is always a hive of activity as they are many questions to be answered, ferrets to be held and stories to be told. As ferreting is normally carried out in unsociable surroundings and often in solitude, Simon uses the arena demonstrations and static display to explain and illustrate why ferreting in the true sense of the word with ferreter, their ferrets, dog and nets are fast becoming a more sought after figure in the countryside and towns of the UK.
The ferreter is the epitome of the organic and environmentally friendly hunter/gatherer and as such a supplier of first class organic, free range meat for the table. For decades Simon has been at the fore front of promoting wild rabbits as a nutritious and sustainable source of food and as such offers a butchery, preparation and cooking demonstrations at many events.
Throughout the UK, at whatever event, the audience are enthralled and become a part of the scene set by Simon as he illustrates how and why the team work together in a simulated day ferreting that has to be seen to be believed. Appreciating the bond that unites the ferreter with his dog and ferrets along with their knowledge of the natural world and fieldcraft enables them to become a part of nature as opposed to an intruder. Enthusiastic, energetic, amusing, educational, unforgettable, all descriptions of his commentary as he gets the audience to watch the ferreter work in tune with his animals.
The world is moving on, technology is changing our society, but it is refreshing to find Simon trying to not only make people realise and understand why we ferret, but more importantly, get newcomers into the countryside to continue such a fine tradition.
A raconteur of some repute, Simon’s display educates the wider world to this traditional craft that has survived the growth in technology, showing why the Pakefield Ferrets motto of “ensuring the tradition of ferreting IS continued for further generations” is long remembered after the show has closed.