Field of Dreams
COUNTRYMEN FASHION SPECIAL: QUEEN AND COUNTRY
Q&C spent a day on the farm with the handsome and talented Hertfordshire-based underkeeper Jamie Field, giving us a driven tour of the estate, teaching us about life on a working farm, the history and etiquette of game shooting, and even posed for some pictures in traditional hunting kit.
Photography: James Wilkinson and Luke Carey
The aptly named Jamie Field is a real countryman and a man of many talents; underkeeper, farm estate co-ordinator, photographer, model and all-round lovely guy. Clad in his Hunter wellies and breeks, Jamie, 29, welcomed Q&C to Brook Farm in Cuffley, Hertfordshire to show us life on the farm, give us the lowdown on the time-honoured sport of game shooting, the etiquette behind the practice and even had time to pose for some pictures.
There’s no better way to spend a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon than being driven around the rolling hills and woodlands of Hertfordshire on the back of a converted Land Rover Discovery in the charming company of our knowledgeable tour guide and his canine companions, labrador Maggie and jack russell cross Finly.
Jamie, who is originally from St Albans, has been an underkeeper and farm coordinator for eight years working alongside the farm’s gamekeeper, taking groups out on driven game shoots, managing events such as weddings and film-shoots on the estate, liaising with suppliers and game buyers and preparing the grounds for game season which runs from September to February.
Dog-lover Jamie also has a range of other duties including training and working with gun dogs, rearing game birds such as pheasant and partridge for release, protecting game from poachers and predators, repairing equipment, maintaining buildings and game pens, clearing woodland and working with the police to deal with crimes like badger digging and hare coursing.
He works long, often irregular hours, usually with early starts, late finishes and plenty of weekend work. His hours depend on the season and the work that needs doing, but one thing is for sure, he loves his job which is physically demanding, working in the great outdoors, often in isolated areas and in all weather conditions.
Jamie takes his position seriously, and doesn’t take his role in the controversial world of hunting lightly, admitting he feels empathy for the birds but says: “I think it’s important to say that many people might feel uncomfortable given the subject of hunting, but it’s certainly not a blood-thirsty sport. The birds are respected, and treated with dignity in both life and death. The actual killing is a very small part of the role, which is a countryside tradition which goes back many centuries. The birds that are released become wild, never seeing a factory in their adult life. They live the most natural life you could wish for a farmed animal and all of the birds shot will end up in the food chain.”
He added: “I’m a huge animal lover, and completely in love with dogs. I enjoy the job hugely as it’s such a wide-ranging role, allowing me to be outdoors, with my dogs and meeting many different people.”
Not only a man of the land, Jamie is also a talented photographer, occasionally teaching photography at the University of Hertfordshire, and also working as a photographer at events such as weddings alongside his equally talented business partner Luke Carey.
Mother Nature has been very kind to our Jamie as you can see from our exclusive photo series. Jamie couldn’t take a bad picture even if he tried! As Robert Palmer once sang, some guys have all the luck...
Check out Jamie’s instagram photography @_jamiefield_. For booking him as a photographer please email email@example.com, and for any enquiries about booking a day’s shoot or to view the farm wedding venue, please contact http://www.brookfarmcuffley.co.uk/