Pheasants are thought to have been brought to Britain by the Romans and used as a source of food for the table.
Their presence is documented as far back as 1059 and in 1768 the first Chinese ring-necks were imported. Over the centuries, pheasants existed as a source of food; it is thought that, pre-firearms they may also have been shot for sport with bows and crossbows. From the 20th century onwards, pheasants have become an increasingly important lowland gamebird following the fall in wild Grey Partridge numbers.
Pheasants thrive along the woodland edge and on agricultural land. However, they are incredibly adaptable and can be released and held on a wide range of ground including the moorland edge. Today, there is a large variety of sporting hybrid pheasants which are bred and released over the summer months.
Pheasants can be shot on formal driven days (when birds are flushed by beaters over a team of guns), or alternatively on more informal walked-up days where guns walk in a line through cover shooting pheasants as they flush.