Brewlands Photographer Within Reach Of National Prize

Shona Bradley, a regular visitor to Brewlands Estate and a busy mother of two boys, has been shortlisted for the Leica Fieldsports Photographer of the year Award with her photograph of grouse shooting on the Brewlands moor.

The photograph was taken when Shona’s husband, Ant, was celebrating his 40th birthday with friends on a day’s walked up grouse shooting over Pointers.  Ant had just shot his first grouse, and the line of guns and beaters were walking through the heather, when they heard a covey of grouse get up behind them, so they turned, and as Shona took a picture of him, a bird got up between the two of them and flew towards the camera missing Shona by inches! As Shona says, “The result is a fantastic image which captures the essence of grouse shooting; unpredictability, excitement, tradition and passion. Nothing beats a day out on the moor with the heather in full bloom.

Grouse shooting on the Brewlands Moor

The Bradleys live in the Peak country in Derbyshire and first began their Scottish adventures in 2007: we must be doing something right because they have been up to visit us every year since then! They are frequent visitors to both Croftend Cottage and Brewlands Cottage. It was not only the beauty and splendour of the Glenisla countryside that captured their hearts and imagination, but also the people. Through visiting the Estate, they have met and made friends with people who work on the Estate, particularly our Head Keeper, Craig.

Some of the favourite Bradley family moments have been on the Estate, feeding the ducks and the pheasants with Craig – much to the joy of Shona’s young boys - and helping with the arrival of the partridges. Shona and her family are now regular visitors to some of the other annual Estate events, such as the forthcoming clay pigeon shooting competition (which is open to anyone who works on the Estate and which elicits MUCH competitive fervour), and the Beaters’ Day in January (where similar competitive tendencies resurface). Shona’s photography skills have proved invaluable in capturing such scenes, heightening the appreciation of everyone involved.

Grouse shooting on the Brewlands Moor

Shona’s love of photography dates back to her childhood, from the days of thumbing her way through various editions of her Parents’ National Geographic magazines. Now she is looking to pursue her passion as more than just a hobby. It is in fieldsports photography that her greatest interest lies. “I find fieldsports photography so inspiring because I am capturing so much more than just an image, I feel I am capturing the stories of people who are passionate about wildness, about the countryside, about being on the hill, by the river, standing at a peg or working their animals; whilst all the time living and working in some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer.  The traditions in which many filedsports are steeped add a further layer: they are so deeply engrained in the history of that particular countryside, that by freezing a moment in a photograph, it is like producing a snapshot of history.”

We wish Shona a tremedous amount of luck in her forthcoming competition: either way we are extremely pleased that she has decided to pursue her passion further. We look forward to having her, and the rest of the Bradley family, out on the moor again for their visit to us this summer – or maybe even a spot of fishing? I believe that large amounts of pride about the numbers of salmon will be at stake!

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