02 July 2018

GWCT hails Sandringham Estate after winning coveted conservation award

David Clarke

Justin Ripman from Mills and Reeve presents the Grey Partridge award to David Clark and Sir Marcus O'Lone from Sandringham at the Royal Norfolk Show 2018. Picture: Nick Butcher

THE GWCT has praised the Royal Family in its commitment to boosting grey partridge numbers at Sandringham Estate after the Queen’s retiring agent Sir Marcus O’Lone and head keeper David Clark won a prestigious conservation award.

They were presented with the Mills & Reeve Grey Partridge Award, which promotes the recovery of grey partridge numbers across the county, by law firm Mills & Reeve at the opening of the 2018 Royal Norfolk Show.

Sir Marcus retires this week after 20 years on the estate, while David retired earlier this year after 17 years of service and they have both worked extremely hard to restore the numbers of this endangered bird.

Dr Roger Draycott, who is head of advisory services at GWCT, works closely with the Sandringham Estate and takes part in partridge counts there commented:

“We are delighted that Sandringham Estate has been recognised in this way.

“Under the leadership of Sir Marcus and David, the Estate has achieved a remarkable recovery in grey partridges; restoring numbers by 2012 to the level they were at in the 1950s – pre-agricultural intensification.

“Alongside grey partridges, songbirds and other wildlife flourished too. The success at Sandringham showed the art of the possible and inspired many other farms and estates across the country to start their own wild partridge conservation projects and contribute to the GWCT Partridge Count Scheme.

“David and Sir Marcus have provided tremendous support to the GWCT over many years and are strong advocates of the GWCT’s science-led practical approach to game and wildlife conservation.”


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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