08 February 2018

Looking ahead to Game 2018 - our essential conference for game managers


LEADING experts in game management will be giving a range of informative talks on topical issues at a conference being held by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The Game Managers’ Event, known as Game 2018, will be held on Thursday 1st March 2018 at GWCT’s headquarters in Fordingbridge, Hampshire and tickets are selling fast.

From invasive weeds contaminating cover crops to antibiotic use in game rearing and the latest on trapping legislation, this conference will cover many hotly-contested issues.

Among the guest speakers talking at the event include Mark Elliott, Richard Barnes, David Steel and Tim Woodward.

Mark Elliott is from South Downs Veterinary Consultancy which provides services to shoots, game farms and much more across the South East of England.

He will be talking to guests about antibiotics use in gamebirds and the work he closely carries out with the GWCT research team.

Sales Manager at Kings Crops, Richard Barnes, will be discussing progressive game cover management and how to deal with ‘exotic’ weeds (rogue millet, amaranth and thorn apple) and limit their spread across the Shoot. At Kings, he oversees the development of nine advisors across the UK who supply seed and advice to a wide range of landowners, farmers, conservation bodies and industry stakeholders. Kings is a key partner at GWCT’s renowned Allerton Project and works closely with the Balgonie grey partridge and Auchnerran demonstration farm projects in Scotland.

David Steel, head of sporting department at Savills, which runs the Shoot Benchmarking Survey each year in conjunction with GWCT, is doing a talk with the Trust’s head of advisory services Roger Draycott.

The pair will be analysing the economics of game shoot management.

Dr Draycott said: “Game 2018 is for professional game managers who want to be up to speed with the latest research and advice on the key current issues affecting lowland game shoots. We have selected a range of GWCT and outside speakers who will tackle some of the challenges and opportunities facing game shoots today, including resolving conflicts between protected species and gamebirds, game shoot economics, the Code of Good Shooting Practice and much more.”

“The overriding aim of the conference is to promote best practice in game management through knowledge exchange.”

There also talks from GWCT staff including director of research Nick Sotherton, head of education Mike Swan, head of predation Jonathan Reynolds and head of wetland research Andrew Hoodless.

Central England advisor at GWCT, Austin Weldon, whose talk is entitled Living with Protected Predators, said: “This is a golden opportunity to speak to a number of industry leaders and learn about the most important issues facing game shooting and its direction in the future.

“The game sector is constantly evolving and it is well-proven that good game management provides huge benefits for other wildlife.

“At the Trust’s Allerton Project farm in Loddington, Leicestershire, songbirds have increased by 93% thanks to the game and farm management package that is in place.

“However,  game managers need to keep up-to-date and constantly strive for higher standards across the whole sector and this is what Game 2018 sets out to achieve. Leading experts will deliver informative presentations on topical subjects with time for the audience to ask questions. We hope this event will become an annual fixture in the diary of shoot managers.”

The Country Food Trust will be providing a game lunch on the day and Tim Woodward will be highlighting its important work helping to combat poverty in the UK with a talk.

The day, which costs £30 per ticket, runs from 10am to 4.30pm.

There are limited places available and you can book here: www.gwct.org.uk/game2018.

For more information, contact Lynda Ferguson on 01425 651013 or lferguson@gwct.org.uk.

The event is kindly sponsored by Perdix and Elanco.

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