22 May 2014

Farmers, scientists and advisers urged to join forces for wildlife

The GWCT has been at the forefront of grey partridge research for the past 40 years and has developed innovative techniques that can restore this once familiar bird to its former glory. Photocredit: Peter Thompson, GWCTGood farmland advice from well-trained and knowledgeable advisers is a crucial element in helping to restore farmland wildlife according to the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust.

As an initial step, grants from two charitable trusts have enabled the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) to offer a free conservation advice day on grey partridge recovery specifically aimed at farmland advisers and land agents. The training day will be held on Friday 27th June at the GWCT’s Allerton Project farm at Loddington.

“We believe that when scientists, advisers and farmers, all work together as a team it can make a huge difference to wildlife recovery,” explains Dr Roger Draycott, who will be leading this one-day course.

Wild grey partridges have declined by more than 80 per cent over the past few decades and are now locally extinct in some areas. However, the GWCT has been at the forefront of grey partridge research for the past 40 years and has developed innovative techniques that can restore this once familiar bird to its former glory. In addition, through the GWCT Partridge Count Scheme and a network of farmer-led grey partridge groups now established across the country, grey partridge numbers have increased more than three-fold over the last ten years on around 1,000 farms.

Roger Draycott, said, “Our research over many years has demonstrated the very specific year-round requirements of grey partridges and where these are being implemented farmers are seeing an encouraging upturn in numbers. The good news is that not only will this sympathetic management boost partridge numbers it is also proven that it can increase other certain farmland bird species by as much as 20 per cent.”

This free event is generously supported by the Felix Cobbold Agricultural Trust and the Chadacre Agricultural Trust.

The training day starts at 10.00 and finishes at 3.00pm. After the morning session, there will be an opportunity to tour the GWCT’s innovative Allerton Project demonstration farm at Loddington.

To book a free place, please contact Lynda Ferguson on lferguson@gwct.org.uk or telephone: 01425 651013.

END

Photocaption: The GWCT has been at the forefront of grey partridge research for the past 40 years and has developed innovative techniques that can restore this once familiar bird to its former glory. 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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