17 April 2014

London talk raises thousands for woodcock research

Over the past two years, the GWCT’s woodcock satellite-tagging programme has yielded a wealth of new information about the behaviour of this enigmatic bird. Photocredit: Peter Thompson, GWCTOver £21,000 was raised for wildlife research at a packed event organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) in London this March. The proceeds will go towards funding groundbreaking research into the woodcock, one of the UK's most inscrutable game birds.

94 guests attended the talk at the RAF Club in Mayfair on Tuesday 25 March. The speakers included such woodcock experts as Dr Andrew Hoodless - the GWCT's Head of Wetland Research, celebrated wildlife artist Owen Williams, and American guest speaker Al Stewart, who described the differences and similarities between our woodcock species, and illustrated the kind of research that is being undertaken worldwide into these incredible birds. The talks were followed by an auction, with lots including a handsome watercolour of a woodcock supplied by Owen Williams.

The GWCT is leading the world in research into woodcock and have set up a fascinating interactive website: woodcockwatch.com, which enables enthusiasts across the world to track individual birds as they make their hazardous migration flights from the UK across Europe to Russia and back again. The tagging programme has now been underway for two years and is leading to incredible discoveries about the behaviour of these birds, allowing researchers to gain further understanding of these extraordinarily secretive birds both in the UK and along their migration routes.

The London branch of the GWCT is hoping to raise a total of £35,000 for woodcock research this year and the auction has gone a long way towards helping achieving that target. The GWCT would like to thank all those who were able to attend the event, the donors of the auction lots, and Smith & Williamson, who kindly sponsored the talks.

For further information on forthcoming GWCT London events please contact Lucy Pearson at lpearson@gwct.org.uk or by phone on 020 7290 0110.

END

Photocaption: Over the past two years, the GWCT’s woodcock satellite-tagging programme has yielded a wealth of new information about the behaviour of this enigmatic bird. Photocredit: Peter Thompson, GWCT. 


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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