06 October 2015

Yorkshire estate offers bright hope for a grey future

The GWCT has spent over forty years developing methods to help arrest the steep decline of the grey partridge in the UK. Photocredit: Peter Thompson, GWCTThe once-common wild grey partridge has been in steep decline over the past four decades. Although it is one of the UK’s most iconic farmland bird species, grey partridge numbers have plummeted by more than 80% and, tragically, because of habitat loss and a reduction in essential chick food insects, they have become locally extinct in many areas of the country.

Britain’s leading wildlife research charity, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has been investigating the grey partridges’ predicament, and researching and developing ways to help arrest and even reverse the decline. Put into practice, these techniques have helped provide environments in which grey partridges can thrive.

The Dalton Estate near Beverley in East Yorkshire is an outstanding example of what can be achieved with these methods, and on the afternoon of Wednesday 21 October the GWCT will be holding a farm walk to demonstrate exactly what this traditional county estate has done for the benefit of the grey partridge.

GWCT advisors Roger Draycott and Austin Weldon will be on hand to answer technical enquiries, along with Danny Burch, head gamekeeper on the Dalton Estate. Topics for discussion will include the habitats that can be provided within agri-environment schemes and wild bird keepering.

Austin Weldon said, “We are delighted to hold this course on the Dalton Estate. Grey partridge conservation takes dedication and knowhow but what could be more rewarding than producing a sustainable harvest of wild game?”

The Yorkshire Grey Partridge Farm Walk is being held by kind permission of Lord Hotham and is generously sponsored by GSC Grays and supported by The Chadacre Trust and Felix Cobbold Trust.

The walk will take place from 2.30pm to 5pm and will be followed by refreshments. The price per attendee is £10 (including VAT and refreshments). To book your place please visit www.gwct.org.uk/yorkshirefarmwalk or contact Lynda Ferguson on 01425 651013 or by email at lferguson@gwct.org.uk.

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Photocaption: The GWCT has spent over forty years developing methods to help arrest the steep decline of the grey partridge in the UK. 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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