You are here: Home > Handler Profiles > Gundog Handlers > Spider’s Appeal and Barry Atkinson

Gundog Handlers

Spider’s Appeal and Barry Atkinson

Ask Barry Atkinson about Spider's Appeal and it won't be many moments before he tells you "This is all about a dog.”

What is Spider's appeal?

It is a unique adventure by a dog (Spider) and his owner, Barry Atkinson, pursuing a challenging lifestyle whilst raising funds for charity.

From its beginnings in 2003 the adventure has developed into a clear mission, and evolved rapidly into fundraising for charities related to Countryside and Health, and establishing field-sports records for beating on driven shoots throughout the UK.

What is the fundraising policy and where do the funds go?

Spider's Appeal has a rock-solid policy regarding fundraising and funds go 50% to Cancer Research UK and 50% to the educational projects of the National Gamekeepers' Organisation Charitable Trust.

Barry's words from his website regarding the policy…… "This is to a) ensure that every donated penny remains intact and is guaranteed to be forwarded to the two charities, evidenced by accurately maintained records and audit, (nothing is deducted from the fundraising to meet expenses); and b) ensure that every penny forwarded to the charities is effective for it's intended purpose by funding specific projects and not financing administration costs.”

The mission

‘To help protect your countryside and your health'

The targets and final challenge...

  • Target 1 To beat on shoots in 100 UK counties.
  • Target 2 To beat on 1000 different shoots in UK counties.
  • Target 3 To fundraise £1 Million to be divided equally between The National Gamekeepers' Organisation Charitable Trust, and Cancer Research UK.

The Final Challenge will create two additional Field-Sports Records;
The most Grouse moor shoots visited, and the most Grouse/Partridge/Pheasant shoots visited.

Spider – a very special dog

The original aim of the challenge was to establish a new field-sports record by beating on different driven shoots on each day of the partridge/pheasant season in as many UK counties as possible. But, as many people would be met during the journey, it was obviously an excellent opportunity for fundraising so Barry made that the top priority.

Three days after confirming the arrangement with the cancer charity, Barry discovered a cancerous tumour on Spider. In an attempt to find a positive outcome from the crisis, Barry decided to focus the whole adventure on Spider and name the fundraising after him - Spider's Appeal was born.

More about Spider – from

Spider (Pocklea Roller) was a liver/white English Springer Spaniel.

He was born in Yorkshire on 23 June 1992, being bred by David Garbut of Pocklington, from Drakeshead Twist out of Trebornil Tess.

For six years he worked as a ‘keeper's dog on Welbeck Abbey Estate in Nottinghamshire before being adopted by Barry.

As figurehead of the Appeal he visited all 398 shoots with Barry during the first four seasons despite carrying a cancerous tumour.

He died naturally at home on 8 April (Easter Sunday) 2007.

His ashes are scattered within each of the shoots subsequently visited by the Appeal in order to maintain his presence and role.

CSJ's involvement

Barry uses CSJ to feed his dogs and asked CSJ to become official ‘partners' to aid in financing his expenses (since all of the funds he raises go to the two charities) and they were happy to be involved in such a worthy and genuine cause.

At March 2010

Barry has done 7 seasons, visited 701 shoots in 93 counties and raised £270,000 so far. He says, "I've met lovely people and seen fabulous scenery.”

If and when the targets are achieved, at best by the end of Season 2012/13, Spider's Appeal will have completed a full decade of beneficial adventure and will close.

Much more information, photographs of Spider and Barry and details for making donations are at

List of all Gundog Handlers

Avis Boreham

'Ashleygrove' gundogs.
Find out more

Ryan Hoggan

I have to say probably the best moment I have had to date is winning the puppy and novice test on the same day with Rosie and the Central Scotland sundog club’s summer test...
Find out more

Richard Preest

Richard is an amateur trainer and a true gentleman of the sport.
Find out more

Fran Glendining

Fran breeds American Cockers, English Cockers and English Springer Spaniels + owns and runs Brierley Kennels.
Find out more

David Williams

How David began his passion for field trials... “I was first introduced to the sport around 5 years ago..."
Find out more

Joe Hipwell - Sealpin Gundogs

Joe has won field trials with four different dogs but rates his biggest success as being selected for Scotland with five dogs over the past three years.
Find out more

Gerda Companjen (The Netherlands)

Gerda has had two Dutch Field Trial Champions: FT CH Lowly Nabucco (the only Golden Retriever in The Netherlands who gained this title) and FT CH Harperrig Archibald.
Find out more

Andrew Cullen MBE

Andrew Cullen of Laochin Gundogs.
Find out more

Philippa Williams

Castlemans Goldens and Retrievers.
Find out more

Eddie Scott

Eddie Scott of Broomfield Spaniels, winner of the Cocker Championship in 2005.
Find out more

Billy Steel Jnr.

Billy Steel Jnr of Broadlow Gundogs has trained and competed with gundogs for 30 years.
Find out more

The Working Clumber Spaniel Society

The Working Clumber Spaniel Society was formed in 1984 by a group of people who are passionate about working their dogs.
Find out more

Huw Jones

Ffynongain Gundogs
Find out more

Paul Leeke

Strinebrooke gundogs.
Find out more

Alan Rees

Delfryd gundogs.
Find out more

Christine Bridgwater

'Scherzando' Working Gundogs and Chinese Cresteds.
Find out more

Spider’s Appeal and Barry Atkinson

A unique adventure by a dog (Spider) and his owner, Barry Atkinson, pursuing a challenging lifestyle whilst raising funds for charity.
(You are on this page).

Noel Bayley

Winner of the 2008 Retriever Championships with FT Ch Craighorn Abby.
Find out more

Fallowfen Gundogs

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and Labradors.
Find out more

Chris Burns

Breezeleaf Working Spaniels.
Find out more

Dave Lisset

Buccleuch Gundogs.
Find out more

Bill Leonard

Clanicker Gundogs.
Find out more

Suzy Burton

'Trubon' Weimaraners and Teckels.
Find out more

Customers' Views

Duncan Sinclair Willis, Mirymoor Gundogs

I just wanted to say a big thank you to CSJ. Brian Sellers has now been in touch and we got on well. I now have all my clients' dogs on CSJ Feeds and all of them are very happy with what they get. Great products and the way in which it has been received by my clients is a tribute to the quality of the food inside the bag, not any fancy graphics on the front! I've just had to order another 30 bags because I can't keep up with demand.

:: more testimonials

CSJ User Profiles

The Working Clumber Spaniel Society

The Working Clumber Spaniel Society

The Working Clumber Spaniel Society was formed in 1984 by a group of people who are passionate about working their dogs.

:: more info
:: all profiles

Need Help? (office hours 10.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday - temporary COVID-19 hours) contact us. Nutritional help available by email only.