Will you help us to drive change?
By Ian Coghill, GWCT Chairman
We know that something needs to be done, and so do you. Last season, the question I was asked most was ‘when is something going to change?’.
Sometimes it was about the numbers of birds released, the rise of bigger shoots or the lost tradition of ‘one for the pot’, but the themes remained the same.
You want to see change now. As our letter in the Telegraph shows below, we want you to support us in educating those entering the sport so that they can ask the right questions.
What needs to be done?
We will launch a national information programme, aimed at those new to the sport. With your help, we can:
- Produce the first book dedicated to explaining the role shooting plays in conservation
- Work with shooting schools and others who welcome those new to the sport
- Host a series of events across the country - starting at the Game Fair - to ‘test’ the knowledge of those involved in fieldsports
- Offer online knowledge assessments to those who want and need them
Your gift of £80 could help get the key facts out to the shooting community and drive up standards on the ground - allowing good game management to thrive.
An ever-increasing demand
You can pick up any countryside magazine and the same issues fill the letters pages: game sales, bag sizes and commercial shooting.
Shooting is growing in popularity season after season. An influx of new people is helping the sport to thrive, and supporting well-managed shoots to deliver the conservation benefits that our research proves they can. I welcome that, and am sure you do to.
If we’re not careful, however, the increased appetite for shooting could also change things for the worse.
Some of those new to the sport may know little about the conservation and day-to-day management on a shoot or what to look out for. They could be supporting bad practice without knowing it.
Make a change before it’s too late
We are already in talks with a major supplier of shoot days and several shooting schools to target their members before the start of the 2018 season. With your support, we can achieve it, but we must act quickly.
We won’t stop at shooting schools. Each donation helps us to make our voice heard. We will get the message out in the media to reach as many people as possible.
Donate here »
You, like every member of the GWCT, want to see more knowledgeable people in the countryside. People who respect how it is run and help it to flourish. Years ago, you might have spotted a new gun and told them to join the Game Conservancy. Ten years down the line, they’d recite chapter and verse about cover crops and releasing densities. That’s how I got hooked.
Sadly, we don’t have a decade to spare. A lot is already being done. Organisations such as the Country Food Trust and the newly-launched British Game Alliance are tackling the marketing of game and I support their efforts. Bigger bags and commercial shoots can cause problems, so can small ones. It’s standards that matter, not size.
You can help us to make sure those shoots with high standards are recognised and allowed to flourish. Knowledge drives change. It gives you the power to ask the right questions at the right time, and understand what answers to look for. For things to change, we all need to start asking questions.
Will you help us to create real change?
We can use our research and experience to educate those involved in shooting into doing things the right way.
Our advisory staff spend time improving the positive effect good game management can have on the birds, bees and butterflies around shoots, but the people inviting them are doing so because they already understand the importance of good management. Only pressure from the outside will change those currently failing to do so.
As a GWCT member, you will already appreciate this, but we need to get the message out to everyone who picks up a gun in the countryside. With the right information, those new to fieldsports can drive change from the ground up and endorse those shoots run to the highest standards.
Other organisations will tell you that they’re the answer. We think that you are.
Help to educate a new generation of guns about what happens in the countryside by supporting this appeal here.
I won’t sit by and let a few badly-managed shoots ruin the hard work done by hundreds of gamekeepers and shoot owners working to support Britain’s countryside. I hope you won’t either.
We need people to start asking the right questions
Please help us educate a whole new audience.
- £25 could help us to collate 30 pages of research about game management into easy-to-read, digestible sections
- £80 could help us to run local events raising awareness of the facts around game management
- £250 could help us to get press coverage about the important role game management plays in the countryside
Donate here »
Last year, the average appeal donor gave £95
Many members have been in touch to ask how much to donate, but we understand that not all people are the same. We are grateful for anything you can give to support this important work.