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These are the headline questions we are asking in this year’s Game and Conservation Benchmarking Survey. The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust has been involved in the survey for many years, assisting Savills with the conservation element of this important survey.
The survey has traditionally focussed on the economics of each shoot, comparing costs and income of individual shoots to others of similar size. However, reflecting a growing interest in the green credentials of shooting, the survey has expanded over several years to include questions covering the environmental aspects associated with shoot management. These questions are designed to gauge how a shoot is meeting the Principles of Sustainable Game Management and your answers will highlight how your shoot is following best practice and suggest ways you could go further to ensure that you are practising sustainable game management.
Unsurprisingly, the 2021 survey includes questions concerning the effect that Covid has had on shoots over the last year and a half and on plans into the future. There are several topical questions concerning the effects of new regulations including the gamebird releasing licence on some protected sites.
Knowledge of how these restrictions affect shoots will be useful to feedback to policy makers and ensure that shoot advisors are well informed on how to best address any concerns that shoots may have regarding them. Finally, the survey asks about the strategies that shoots are taking on lead shot and plastic wad cartridge use – with the prospect of a voluntary move away from both in the near future prompting shoots to consider how they will manage that change.
It is worth pointing out that it is worthwhile to have basic information for your shoot to hand before beginning the survey – for example number of birds released, prices charged, amount of grain provided, etc. Take the survey here.
If you have any questions about the survey please email firstname.lastname@example.org