17 December 2013

It takes more than a pear tree to conserve our wild greys

The wild grey partridge - in need of support and the GWCT can train you how to helpAs we bellow out the 12 Days of Christmas this festive season, not many people will realise that the ‘partridge in the pear tree’ is actually in need of a huge amount of support following a massive decline in numbers over the past 40 years.

With decades of research into the species at their fingertips, experts at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust have organised two excellent training courses in March 2014 to enable grey partridge enthusiasts in Scotland to re-introduce this iconic species to the arable and hill fringe landscapes.

Participants can look forward to two stimulating courses in Spring with the GWCT’s full team of grey partridge experts in tandem with Perdix Wildlife Supplies Ltd. Together, they will impart unique advice based on practical experience and science at two venues in Midlothian and Inverness-shire.  Kindly sponsored by Kings and Elanco, the days will involve inspiring talks and practical demonstrations on habitat creation and management, predator control and re-introduction techniques.

The GWCT continues to research and develop solutions to kick-start recovery and this training is based on a three-year research study initiated by the Trust, which investigated the most effective methods of re-establishing a partridge population through releasing and culminated in comprehensive guidelines for practitioners.

Course leader Hugo Straker, said: “The need to re-establish new populations is crucial if we are to save this bird, particularly as there are now huge tracts of our countryside that no longer holds grey partridges. We hope that our comprehensive guidelines and this training will show the art of the possible.”

Re-establishing a wild population where they are no longer present certainly poses a challenge. Hugo continues: “Once the right habitats have been created and feeding and predator control are being maintained, we feel confident that many people will be able to have wild partridges on their land again. This would be a fantastic achievement for future generations.”

The training day involves a combination of presentations and practical sessions. This in-depth course is designed to help clarify and guide people through some of the pitfalls and will offer lots of tips and encouragement to help ensure a positive and successful outcome.

“This course is relevant to everyone interested in grey partridge conservation, from farmers or conservation groups looking to re-establish a small but viable resident population on their land to game managers whose ultimate goal is to achieve a sustainable wild grey partridge shoot.” said Hugo.

Course details

The course costs £25 per person inc. VAT

Monday 3rd March -  O930  – 1500  at Whitburgh Estate, Pathhead, Midlothian.

Book Online: 3rd March >

Tuesday 4th March -   0930 – 1500 at Clune and Corrybrough Estate, Tomatin, Inverness-shire.

Book Online: 4th March >

Book your place by phone

Contact Lynda Ferguson on 01425 651013 or email  lferguson@gwct.org.uk


Caption: The wild grey partridge - in need of support and the GWCT can train you how to help.

Notes: The grey partridge perdix perdix - This red-listed species, which was once common across the country, has suffered a drastic decline of more than 86 per cent over the past 40 years and needs a considerable amount of positive management to ensure its future survival across the country.

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is an independent wildlife conservation charity which carries out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

For information, contact:

Playfair Walker
Telephone: 0131 445 5570
Email: richard@playfairwalker.com