Richard Negus (Reap the wild harvest, Shooting Times, 30/01/2019) writes very eloquently about the excellent work that Adam Steed has undertaken on the Black’s family farm in mid-Suffolk to build up an impressive stock of wild pheasants and grey partridges.
Richard and I were very fortunate to shoot pheasants there over Christmas and what a splendid day we had. In the excitement of the day it would appear that a discussion about the recommended levels of grey partridges that are required to support a sustainable harvest of grey partridges was lost in translation.
The correct figures are of course a minimum of 20 birds per 250 acres (100 hectares) counted in the autumn. Leaving a stock of less than this risks a decline in breeding stock for the next season. The best way to ensure that wild grey partridges are harvested at sustainable levels is to participate, like Adam, in the GWCT’s Partridge Count Scheme (PCS).
Running since the 1930s, it is the biggest and longest running farmer/keeper bird count scheme in Europe providing vital data to scientists and policy makers on long-term trends and the effect that positive game and habitat management can have on greys as well as providing practical information to farmers and game managers on grey partridge stocks. We urge everyone who has grey partridges to contribute to the count scheme this spring. More details here www.gwct.org.uk/pcs
Head of Advisory, GWCT