Category Archives: News

A New Year, Wizards and Where’s Baldrick?

With a busy end to the last year, it’s been a while since our last news update.
Last year was a successful one for shows, ending as always with the Hampshire Country Sports Day at Alresford, always a great day out, and we looked forward to a new ferreting season, but then …
Baldrick went missing!
Turnip was left pining for his little lost buddy, and this author had to console the poor little lamb as he searched through the rabbit warrens and electric fences in search of his soul-mate.
But all was not lost, and as the end of the year approached, news reached our little shell-likes that Baldrick had not done an Alice and dissappeared down a rabbit hole, but had been moonlighting on a shoot as a beater!
The dirty little traitor …
And yet, in the mysterious world and ways of the shoot, Baldrick had learned of an even more mysterious and magically world … not called Starbuck’s but called Hogwart’s!!!
So an entrepid band of adventurers set off from the Wessex Ferret Club in search of this land and stumbled across Warner Brothers Studios World of Harry Potter, complete with Butterbeer, Quidditch and yes, ferrets!
You can see more of this fantastic day in our gallery.
And so after a magical trip and an emotional reunion of Baldrick and Turnip (there were lots of tears and cuddles …), the new year is upon us and we return to the fields for the second half of the working season, and also start booking the shows for the up coming year.
This year already looks like a busy one, with the show season beginning in March and continuing till October, and covering most of Dorset, Hampshire and even venturing beyond to other counties (a shock to some members, who believe you’ll fall off the earth if you go beyond the New Forest …)
So we look forward to a busy and successsful year and hope to see friends old and new in the months ahead!

Hampshire and New Forest Show 2015

So it was a hot and sunny end to July, and the Wessex Ferret Club descended on a field just outside Brockenhurst for the grand spectacle that is the New Forest and Hampshire Country Show!
With newly painted racing pipes, we eagerly awaited the hoards of visitors, ready to dispense out fuzzy facts about our furry friends, and the ferrets bounced around in expectation of cuddles and being fussed by everyone.
The tent display was given a complete make over, with new photos and information posters, and the working area had the addition of videos on net making, and an action video featuring out very own Turnip setting up nets and trying to catch something!
The ever popular ferret racing drew the crowds, and we updated our format with our new tag team of ringmasters – Mark and Lisa (disturbing nick names to follow soon …)
Not to be out done by the wizards in the display tent and racing arena, it was the turn of the workers and there rabbit control demonstration! So in to the fray stepped who else but Baldrick and Turnip (and friends), with their new and unique display, and the introduction of Wilfred the dog!
It was a fantastic three days at a brilliant show, one of our longest running and most prestigious events, and we look forward to returning next year, with even more updates to display!
To see more of the fun and games, see our gallery here.

Baldrick and Turnip Ride Again!

As the show season comes to an end, and the long hot summer days (and rain …) fade away, our intrepid heroes gear themselves up for a new season of ferreting, yes it’s Baldrick and Turnip – The Return!

We’ve all enjoyed this year so far, with great shows, new displays, new members and a great platform to launch the club to new heights next year.  But for some, the work continues through the autumn and winter, as Baldrick and Turnip escape from their carers and once more roam free across the countryside, eagerly seeking out rascally rabbits, leading innocent ferrets astray, falling down holes and discovering those electric fences they love so much.

So with only a few more shows left, remember to check back over the coming months to read the continuing misadventures of our beloved pair, and this season we plan to bring live action video of their mishaps as well!

Baden Powell School Fete 2015

A barmy Friday evening, and the Wessex Ferret Club trundled down into Poole to take part in one of our longest running shows, the Baden Powell School Fete.

As always, it was a great evening, with lots going on – bands, raffles, climbing walls, dance displays, and of course – ferret racing!

Everyone had a great time, and there was plenty of interest from the crowd about our fuzzy friends, and I’m sure we will return again next year!

To see more of this great evening of fun, check out the gallery here

Tired Ferrets

Well those that having been following the adventures of Baldrick and Turnip, and the on going events of the Wessex Ferret Club, will have been disappointed by the lack of recent updates, well there’s a reason …

It’s been a busy summer of shows and events, including press days and appearances in local papers and radio, and well, the ferrets have got a bit tired, and keep forgetting to write their blogs, so some of us have had to step in …

So it’s been a successful show season so far (more details to follow!!), and we have also learnt that the fame (or maybe infamy) have followed our illustrious duo of ferreters far beyond the borders of Wessex! Yes, Baldrick and Turnip have now become infamous in places as far flung as Tyneside – Why Aye the lads!!!!

Experimental Ferreting

So we made another visit to the golf course, and it was a very successful one!
Our biggest haul of the year, doubling the seasons catch and finally making it into double figures! We have decided we can now call ourselves “True Enthusiastic Amateurs”!!!!
So as an experiment, I decided to take a new, untested fuzzy friend out for the day.
Now I like my ferrets, and I know I do spoil them a bit, but not as much as others seem to think! So when Biscuit was introduced to the happy band, I was a bit deflated when someone looked at him, picked him up and said “That’s not a ferret, it’s a badger!”. I think he’s just big boned …

Anyway, big or not, Biscuit had a great day out and actually did a good job, so there!

So the next experiment is to find a replacement for hawks and dogs to catch the bunnies that make a run for it, so it’s time to get a cheetah …..

A Day on the Ranges

Having recently acquired a new permission, a few intrepid members of The Wessex Ferret Club, with varying degrees of experience, set off to help at a golf course with a rabbit problem, and on a crisp and clear morning (we meant it was freezing!) we all huddled together with our ferrets and made our plan of attack!

The warren was scouted, the purse nets in place, the long nets rolled out, we had a cup of coffee …

And it was down to business, in went the ferrets, and we made our first mistake! As we patrolled the long nets in front of the warren, the rabbits had other ideas and went in the opposite direction, while one ferret decided in liked the warren and had to be helped out by digging a new hole! This called for a re-think of battle plans!

We re scouted the area and found another warren! This was besieged with nets on all sides, and we had another cup of coffee …

This time success! After several other rather empty outings we finally caught one of the little critters! This lead to a celebratory cup of coffee …

So filled with the pride of actually having caught something (and coffee) we continued working our way round the course, with our bunny tally slowly increasing, and after 7 hours, we had a fair few to show for our work, a better idea of the lay of the land and a happy landowner, who asked us back to have another go later in the month.

And then we got a nice surprise! We were asked if we wanted to work the ferrets on part of the land used as a riding school, and so we were lead to this new area with looks of intrigue on the faces of our more experienced ferreters. When we got there, these looks changed from intrigue to wonder, as their little eyes widen and tears of joy welled up (a bit like Scrat seeing the giant acorn in Ice Age 2), as we saw a piece of land that was a ferreters dream, full of brambles, gorse and rabbits! Then someone said “We haven’t got enough long nets!”

So it’s back to the golf course in a few weeks, and making more long nets in the evening, ready for a dream day out at the new bury!

Micro-chipping Or How Not To Stab Yourself!

One of the services that The Wessex Ferret Club is happy to provide, and encourages it’s members to take part in, is the micro-chipping of our fuzzy friends, at to this end several members took a jolly into the wilds of Wiltshire to learn this mysterious and sacred art, so that the club could continue offering this service to it’s members.

Those that arrived early were treated to that great traditional British greeting of the breakfast fry up, and many a happy full belly was seen!

After this, a rather sleep deprived trainer appeared, and we were introduced to the dark arts of the micro-chip! The theory lesson and supporting booklets provided a wealth of information, that will soon be appearing on this site, and once everyone was happy, it was on to getting the ferrets out and the much anticipated practical!

At this point, its nice to point out that no ferrets were harmed or mistreated, but the handlers and micro chippers didn’t do quite so well! But practice makes perfect, and on the second attempt, everyone was confident enough to get the job done without the onlookers giggling!
So at the end of a successful and informative day, we learnt more than a few things –

  1. Micro-chipping is definately worth having done
  2. If you micro-chip the handler, they may be sent to you if they get lost
  3. Don’t eat too many beans when offered a fry up breakfast!

A New Permission

The club was lucky enough to get a new permission for ferreting this week, so pretty much a new comer to the working side of owning ferrets (come on they make brilliant pets !!!), I was invited to tag along and learn all about it.

So today we set off for darkest, deepest Dorset (well, Christchurch), and I learnt about getting new permissions, and what you need to do on the first visit and get the lay of the land.

  1. Make sure there are actually rabbits there (probably the most important!)
  2. Find the holes and warrens
  3. Check that you don’t have to cross fences, etc onto neighbours lands, and if you do, make sure you ask for permission!
  4. Get consent from the landowner and arrange a date
  5. Go down the pub and congratulate each other (by far the most important!)

So we checked, worked out how many people and ferrets we need, and what equipment we need, and its back tomorrow!

So this afternoon is sandwich making, thermos cleaning and generally making sure everything is ready for tomorrow.

How knows, we might actually see a bunny this time!

Ferreting with Baldric

Well it was a crisp and somewhat cool Sunday morning, and several members of the Wessex Ferret Club (including a slightly dubious looking escapee from Blackadder) braved the elements to take on a new permission and help a local land owner out with a rabbit problem, having been reliably informed “There’s thousands of ’em!!!!”

So under the expert eye of Baldric, I mean Pete, we set the nets, excited the ferrets and got ready for the rush!

7 cold hours and several empty coffees later, we decided that rabbits were smarter than us and had gone somewhere warmer! But at least the ferrets (and Baldric) had a good day out!

So having had loads of fun and having learnt lots about rabbiting, we informed the land owner and set off for the pub, with one member uttering the immortal phrase …

“At least it beats decorating ……”