06 April 2018

Venison Evening at Apley, Shropshire, raises conservation funds

GWCT guests at Apley Farm Shop were treated to an evening of venison, the ultimate red meat – once the quarry of kings!All things venison were enjoyed by a full house of 50 guests at Apley Farm Shop on the evening of Thursday 15 March, hosted by Lord and Lady Hamilton of Apley Estate in Shropshire. The proceeds from the evening will go towards funding the vital conservation research of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The evening began with a butchery demonstration, followed by a talk by GWCT advisor Austin Weldon, and a three-course venison dinner. Guests watched as a venison carcase was transformed into succulent joints by the slip of a knife, such was the skill of the inspiring butchery demonstration given by farm shop head butcher, Bob Wassell.

Austin Weldon outlined the challenges facing land owners and deer in the UK; there currently being six breeds roaming feral in the British countryside. He illustrated how to identify the presence of deer breeds by the height to which foliage has been browsed, highlighting ivy as a favourite fodder.

Other ways to calculate deer density include dung rates, path rates, year on year impact assessments and deer exclusions to compare growth of vegetation. Austin explained: “There has never been so much food in the countryside, therefore there are more feral deer than ever before and in certain areas the impact by deer on the natural habitat needs help with management.”

At dinner, Lord Hamilton’s smoked pheasant salad and Apley venison casserole were savoured, along with Addison wines. The event was rounded off with two auction lots, a deer stalking masterclass - WMS Firearms Training and a Shadymoor stalking experience. The event in total raised £2,167 for the GWCT and was generously supported by Strutt & Parker and Handelsbanken.

For more information about forthcoming GWCT events in Shropshire, please contact Pippa Hackett at phackett@gwct.org.uk

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Photocaption: GWCT guests at Apley Farm Shop were treated to an evening of venison, the ultimate red meat – once the quarry of kings!


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:
Joel Holt
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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