27 June 2013

A feast of game research on the GWCT stand at Game Fair

‘Middleton Chicks’ on the GWCT Game Fair stand adjacent to the main arena, will help to illustrate the science behind a new 3-year project that aims to see whether simple techniques introduced early in a reared pheasant’s life will help them survive better and breed successfully. Photocredit: Martin ClaysAs one of the leading research charities in the UK, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) will be highlighting amazing science at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, with pheasants, woodcock and game management playing pivotal roles in the fascinating displays. The GWCT will also host a major debate; a revealing interview with a former Defra Minister; an awards ceremony; live pheasant chicks in attendance; and all the benefits of the catered stand, shop and members’ enclosure.

The Game Fair runs from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 July. GWCT is launching its innovative ‘Campaign for Game’ on Friday morning and shoots across the country are being urged to join the campaign. GWCT advisors will be available throughout the show to talk through the implications of the Campaign and will explain why everyone that loves their sport should get involved.

We are delighted that three of the Defra ministerial team will be visiting the stand to show their interest in the work carried out by the Trust. These include Rt. Hon. Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Richard Benyon, MP, Minister for Natural Environment and Fisheries, and Lord De Mauley, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the House of Lords.

Campaign for Game Launch

Ian Lindsay, the GWCT’s director of education and advisory explains, “The ‘Campaign for Game’ is a timely initiative, which we have been developing over the past year. This important move is prompted by the need for shoots to demonstrate the great benefits to wildlife from their game management activities in response to criticism of game shooting, particularly gamebird releasing.”

Following the ‘Campaign for Game’ theme, GWCT will be hosting an animated debate in the Game Fair Theatre on Friday afternoon at 3.00pm, titled ‘Reared shoots can make a significant contribution to wildlife conservation’. Introduced by Defra Minister Lord de Mauley, and chaired by GWCT Chairman Ian Coghill, the speakers will include, Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation; Charles Nodder from the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and Tom Oliver from GWCT. The conclusions of this thought-provoking debate will be summarised by Roger Williams MP, Vice Chairman of the Game & Wildlife Conservation All Party Parliamentary Group.

Complementing the Campaign for Game on the stand, the GWCT will be unveiling a fascinating new project being undertaken on the Middleton Estate in Hampshire, which is investigating the behaviour of pheasant chicks. The three-year project, initiated by the GWCT is being run by PhD student Mark Whiteside from Exeter University’s centre for research and animal behaviour. The project aims to see whether simple techniques introduced in the early stages of a reared pheasant’s life will help them survive better once released and potentially to breed and raise a new generation of wild birds.

Defra Minister Richard Benyon MP, has kindly agreed to present the GWCT’s Julian Gardner photographic competition awards on the stand at 11.15 am on Saturday morning. This inspiring competition, which was judged by Laurie Campbell, a leading wildlife photographer, was set up in memory of murdered farmer Julian Gardner and has received an unprecedented number of entries this year.

Sir Jim Paice MP, Minister of State at Defra from 2010 to 2012 will take part in a lively ‘Question and Answer’ session in the GWCT’s members’ area at 3.15 pm on Saturday afternoon. Everyone is invited to come along, hear about the inner workings of Whitehall, to take part and enjoy some well-earned rest and relaxation.

As usual the GWCT’s knowledgeable research and advisory staff will be on hand to answer questions on wide-ranging game management issues and to explain current research projects being undertaken by the GWCT’s upland and lowland science teams.

The Trust’s extensive members’ area at the Game Fair is the best place to meet friends and enjoy fine food and good company. For those that are not yet members of the GWCT, then this is a perfect opportunity to join the growing band of people that recognise the key role the Trust’s research plays in making the countryside a better place for game and wildlife.

Photocaption: ‘Middleton Chicks’ on the GWCT Game Fair stand adjacent to the main arena, will help to illustrate the science behind a new 3-year project that aims to see whether simple techniques introduced early in a reared pheasant’s life will help them survive better and breed successfully. Photocredit: Martin Clays. 


Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. 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.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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