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Matt Newell

Matt was born in 1979 and educated and brought up in North Bedfordshire. From his early teens he helped on local shoots and was involved in beating and helping with clay shoots and had a fascination for all elements of hunting, shooting and fishing. He started his professional life at Sparsholt College in 1995 doing a First Diploma in Game and Wild Life and in 1996 followed this up with a National Certificate in Game and Water Keeping. Work experience during the course equipped him for his first job as underkeeper at Springhead Estate in West Sussex between 1997 and 2001. Springhead is a downland shoot of exceptional quality. His next position was as the pheasant keeper at Gunnerside Estate, North Yorkshire between 2001 and 2005. Working as the pheasant keeper amongst some of the best grousekeepers in the country he benefitted from their wisdom about game management and in particular about predator control. Matt next became head keeper of Nantclywd estate in North Wales which was run as a commercial shoot for four years between 2005 and 2009. His experience in ‘The Making of Nantclywd’ was featured by Mike Yardley in the Shooting Gazette ( October 2008 Issue 204 pp 28-32) In 2009 Matt became head keeper at the Hexton Shoot in Hertfordshire where he worked for a syndicate run by the William Powell Sporting Team. At the end of the first season the syndicate broke up and the opportunity came to run Hexton shoot independently which he has now been doing for two years. During this time he has built up a loyal, regular clientele and looks forward to developing it further. Matt has been commended for his modern methods and his passion and as having an air of competence and confidence. Hexton Shoot covers 3500 acres, has twelve drives and is mainly arable land. The shoot is fully equipped to run in a resourceful and professional way. Quad bikes are his main accessory to dogging in and feeding the pheasants accompanied by a team of eight spaniels: seven cocker and one springer, and two Alsatians as guard dogs. His ethos for his shoot days is to ‘give direction without it being too compelling and trying not to hurry people but give them a predictable agenda’. Matt is married and they are expecting their first child in November.

  1. How it’s done at Hexton Shoot

    Rural Matters

    It won’t be any surprise to you that preparation for this year’s shoot has been set against the backdrop of the worst Spring and Summer weather since records began. Ironically the heavy rain started on the day the hosepipe ban Read the Rest…