05 July 2013

Minister celebrates the 25th year of the Scottish Game Fair in the Year of Natural Scotland

Minister for the Environment, Paul Wheelhouse MSP visited the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s Scottish Game Fair at Scone Palace, (Friday, July 5) attending the Trust’s ‘Big 5’ reception to celebrate the Year of Natural Scotland.

The Minister viewed the newly designed GWCT central exhibit which showcased some of Scotland’s most iconic wildlife sights and sounds through a specially extended interactive display, which was supported by Forestry Commission Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage. The GWCT’s ‘Big 5’ included the grey partridge, woodcock, black grouse, red grouse and mountain hare, which are all indicator species of a well-managed and healthy countryside.

Mr Wheelhouse spent the morning viewing the ‘Big 5’ display and talking to industry stakeholders, environmental NGO’s and land managers acknowledging their contribution to Scotland’s natural environment.

Dr Adam Smith, GWCT Director Scotland, said:

“We are very grateful for the Ministers support this year, particularly as this is the 25th year of the GWCT Game Fair at Scone Palace which is a significant milestone. It is also important that, given this is the year of Natural Scotland, we celebrate our game and wildlife because of what it brings directly in the shape of wonderful species and indirectly through its approach to conservation within a productive landscape”

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said:

“The Game Fair at Scone Palace, in its 25th year, is Scotland’s largest celebration of countryside management outside of the agricultural sector. We should celebrate our game and wildlife because Scotland’s landscapes are home to some magnificent species roaming in their natural habitats.

“Country sports are enjoyed by many people from both home and abroad and they contribute around £240 million per annum to Scotland’s economy; and they are vital in supporting many rural areas where, in many cases, few alternative employment opportunities exist. The event is also an educational resource for the wider public and it is therefore all the more significant this year as it is in keeping with the economic and educational objectives of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 to ensure that the people of Scotland recognise and value the contribution our natural environment makes to our culture, society and economy.”

For pictures please contact Katrina Candy by phone on 01738 554822 or 07736 802144 or by email at kcandy@gwct.org.uk.

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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

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