THE Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is encouraging shoots around the country to join up to its Shoot Sweepstake Initiative in time for the 2018/2019 season.
Set up by the GWCT in 2002, the shoot sweepstake is a fun and practical way to make a difference to wildlife conservation and demonstrate how good game management is beneficial for the whole of the countryside.
The money raised by the sweepstake goes towards funding GWCT research into solid and evidence-led science into game management and to developing practical conservation methods to meet the Trust’s goal of preserving the British countryside and traditional countryside pursuits for future generations. No other organisation produces the detailed research that GWCT can, and it works tirelessly to brief government, farmers, landowners and media with the full facts about conservation.
Two recent publications demonstrate the breadth and depth of GWCT’s activities:
The Knowledge: Every Gun’s Guide to Conservation is a 200-page book, written in an accessible question-and-answer style, aimed both at seasoned guns as well as those new to shooting. It provides a detailed introduction to the principal quarry species, management of habitat and predators and the law relating to a shoot day, as well as information on the use of lead shot, medication in game rearing, health and safety, game handling and security. The book is written by GWCT research specialist Jen Brewin and Joe Dimbleby, former editor of Shooting Times, and copies are available to order for £15.95 at www.gwct.org.uk/theknowledge
Working Conservationists: The Land Managers Saving British Wildlife is a 50-page booklet of case studies highlighting the extraordinary conservation successes achieved by private land managers, farmers and gamekeepers from a range of different sized farms and estates. Written by Joe Dimbleby and featuring a foreword by the Environment Secretary, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, the booklet is an invaluable record of what can be achieved through the application of GWCT science. Costing £3.95 each, copies can be bought online at www.gwct.org.uk/working
The GWCT's current research includes a new three-year project tracking wild pheasants, to understand why wild bird numbers have declined there recently and which predators may be involved. The project is based at the Trust's Allerton Project in Leicestershire and aims ultimately to implement a management plan to re-establish wild gamebirds alongside released pheasants.
Individual shoots can help contribute to the GWCT's efforts by holding a sweepstake on shoot days, with half the proceeds going to the winner and the other half to GWCT. For every £100 raised, shoots will receive a bottle of Gordon's Sloe Gin.
GWCT regional organiser Max Kendry said: "We have some fantastic support from a lot of shoots all over the country but there are many more who could help to make an investment in the future.”
The GWCT sweepstake package contains everything necessary to help run a successful shoot day such as peg markers, shoot cards, cartridge collection bags, a wall chart and a copy of The Code of Good Shooting Practice. The sweepstake package features striking gamebird designs created by renowned wildlife artist Owen Williams. The package is available, completely free, from the GWCT.
Max Kendry added: “The great thing about sweepstakes is that anyone - from a small DIY shoot to a larger commercial shoot - can contribute and have a bit of fun on a shoot day at the same time.”
The GWCT shoot sweepstake is a simple and effective way of contributing to the preservation of British wildlife and game species. Sweepstakes packs can be ordered from Heather Acors at GWCT, Burgate Manor, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 1EF, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone on 01425 651010.
Photocaption: The GWCT's free shoot sweepstakes pack is strikingly illustrated by renowned wildlife artist Owen Williams.
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:
Telephone: 01425 651000