Scientific research, especially ecology, depends on habits and patterns. Our long-running datasets, such as the National Gamebag Census, the Sussex Study and the Partridge Count Scheme depend on annual count figures and regular monitoring. The situation we are currently facing through the spread of COVID-19 changes much of how we live our lives, but – where safe– we are trying to continue as much possible.
Conference calls are now taking the place of face-to-face meetings, most staff are working from home and some tasks might take slightly longer than usual, but the show must go on.
While our research continues, our fundraising and member activity will take a considerable hit during this time. We have cancelled and postponed many events, including our Scottish Game Fair and auctions and our membership recruitment at events, shows and in local communities has had to pause. If you do know of anyone who would be interested in supporting our work, do please point them towards our website or send them a link to our weekly newsletter – www.gwct.org.uk/newsletter.
Here are a few examples of how we’ve been able to get on with our work in the past week:
Farmland Ecology research assistant Jade Hemsley (not pictured above) has had the assistance of her cat, Iggy, in identifying farmland invertebrate samples.
Jade’s colleague, Adam McVeigh, has no such feline assistance, but is still working his way through samples at home, helping to keep our research going.
Roger Draycott has still been able to get some fresh air (albeit from a car window) as he counted partridges in Norfolk.
The Allerton Project’s Community Heritage Orchard has not been overlooked. All apple trees have been pruned in an impressive solo effort this year to ensure social distancing.
GIS student Jemma Gibson has been enjoying home comforts as she keeps our important mapping work going from our student cottage.
For those who had to come to work in our Burgate Manor headquarters, all provisions have been made to make the office as safe as possible – designated working areas, hand sanitizer, thermometers and the Chief Executive’s biscuit tin was even opened up to keep morale high.