01 September 2016

Shoots showing optimism for the 2016/2017 season

Shoots reported a relatively stable performance for the 2015/2016 season with variable cost increases (3%) negated by a decrease in fixed costs (7%) according to the recently published Savills and Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Shoot Benchmarking Survey. A net balance of 39% of participating shoots are more optimistic about the forthcoming season compared to last.

Overall, fixed costs decreased with staff salaries, the largest of these, making the greatest saving per bird. However as salaries increased by an average of 2.5%, we suggest shoots are spreading their labour cost across more released birds. Average head keepers salaries now stand at £23,200 per annum. Beaters and picker up pay is the fourth biggest cost for shoots.

Shoot Benchmark 2016

Half the shoots surveyed plan to increase their charges for the 16/17 season, following successive increases per bird over the past six years. These price rises of 17% for pheasants and 23% for partridges outweigh the increase in costs.

David Steel, Director of Savills comments, “The survey shows that the biggest influence on profit is fixed costs, particularly those relating to staff, with salary costs being spread over a larger number of birds on profitable shoots, rather than salaries being lower.”

Roger Draycott, Head of advisory services GWCT “As well as providing unrivalled financial management data for shoots, the survey also collects important information on the contribution that shoots make to wildlife conservation. For example, 69% of participating shoots have planted woodland in the last 10 years and last season 50% of shoots paid for habitat improvement works outside of any funded agri-environment scheme.”

Click here to download the survey >


For further information please contact:
David Steel Director Savills 01200 411 051
Roger Draycott Head of advisory services GWCT 01440 821325
Louise Rose Savills press office: 07967 555817
Holly Howe GWCT communications officer: 01425 651000

Notes for editors

  • 141 shoots took part in the 2015/2016 season Shoot Benchmarking survey, with a combined turnover of approx £12.8m
  • The overriding aim of the benchmarking exercise is to act as a financial management tool and to identify areas of strength and weakness in a shoot’s performance so corrective action can be taken as appropriate. 
  • Each participant receives a detailed free report analysing its data again an overall benchmark and a group of similar sized shoots.

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