THE shooting of game in Britain is a history that is well and truly steeped in tradition.

Starting around August, the game season gets into full swing in the lead up to Christmas and makes way for some hearty and warming dishes.

While I have been honouring all the vegetables that are springing into autumnal life, it is about time we focus on the other side of this fantastic leaf-falling season.

And though we are living in this modern world and seem unable to escape the culinary conveyor belt of production which churns out product after product, game still isn't the easiest thing to get hold of.

In fact, in England and Wales there are still hunting restrictions which forbid the killing of game on Sundays and Christmas days, and ban the shooting of game between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise.

Although this long-established practice can be rather unsavoury for some, there are indeed many of us game-lovers out there and there is plenty of opportunity to try out and explore different recipes.

Why not take inspiration from the likes of celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who created a memorable Christmas feast as long ago as 2004 with his 10-bird roast which offered up a 20lb turkey stuffed with goose, duck, mallard, guinea fowl, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon and woodcock.

Not everyone has the stamina nor the money for such a time-consuming show-stopper, but you can easily give game a go at home.

Kirkby Lonsdale's Dales Butcher has rabbit at £3.75, perfect for putting into a deliciously traditional pie with bacon, mixed vegetables and herbs.

They also have venison haunch at £15.98. Just stick it in a roasting tin with rosemary and cook until it's still pink in the middle. Serve with any of your favourite trimmings and red wine gravy.

Plumgarths, Kendal, also has an array of game which includes pheasant at £3.95 each and venison steaks at £19.98/kilo. Make a hearty cassoulet - a slow-cooked French white bean casserole - but replace the duck legs with sumptuous confit pheasant.

If you prefer deer, pan fry the steaks until rare and enjoy with a sweet sauce made from damson syrup at £3.50 (220ml) or simply eat alongside damson jelly at £1.82 per jar, both from Witherslack Community Stores.

You could even make a venison or mixed game stew with frozen diced venison at £9/kilo which comes from Airey's at Grange.

For a bit of help, head to Low Sizergh Barn, Kendal, where they have a Cartmel Valley Game mini three bird roast for one at £4.80. They also have David and Oliver's Royal Game Stock at £3.99/500g to help you on your way with a stew, Royal Game Soup and wild game bird soup both at £2.55/300g.

Greenbanks, Kendal, has the ideal partner for any stew or roast. Pumpkins are at £1 while extra large baking potatoes are 25p each or five for £1.

Alternatively, why not have an autumnal game salad with chestnuts at £2.50/lb and pomegranates at 50p each or two for 90p.

If it's just a snack you are after, The Honeypot in Hawkshead has venison pate at £1.90 for a jar and goose pate with truffle at £5.99/180g.

Spread it onto spelt loaf from Grange Bakery at £1.64, or wipe your plate clean with the bread after a stew.

Finish your meal off with homemade shortbread in spooky Halloween shapes at 50p each.