THE National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) are joining forces to undertake an ambitious nationwide survey that will shine a light on the work of the gamekeeping community.
This important survey aims to gain an up-to-date understanding of the range of benefits game management contributes to conservation in the UK.
A nationwide survey by the NGO and SGA in 2011 revealed the true extent of the conservation work carried out by gamekeepers. Significantly, the survey showed that gamekeepers look after an area of land that is five times the area of National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and that game management plays a crucial role in preserving the habitats and wildlife so important to Britain’s biodiversity.
Although at that time the survey’s conclusions were overwhelmingly positive, the need to update this survey with more detailed information and statistics has become pressing.
It is for this reason that the NGO, together with the SGA, have put their backs behind undertaking a new gamekeeper conservation survey in 2019, which will be collated and analysed by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).
Liam Bell, chairman of the NGO, said: “All those involved in shoot management know about the extraordinary conservation achievements of gamekeepers, but frequently these are unrecorded secrets.
“We want our new survey to shout loudly and proudly about our achievements. We want to present the results of this survey widely to policy makers, the media and the public to give them more insight on our crucial role in conserving our wonderful British countryside. We want to show that the countryside would be a much poorer place without our efforts.”
Professor Nick Sotherton, director of research at the GWCT, said: “The GWCT works on facts derived from sound science, experimentation and survey. This new survey of management, undertaken by gamekeepers, continues a long line of such surveys started in 2011. At a time when the activities surrounding game management are in sharp focus, such a survey is timely and much needed.”
Liam added: “It is absolutely vital that we all return these completed questionnaires. How are we going to fight our ongoing battles unless we have concrete evidence to illustrate more clearly what we do and what this achieves? I would urge all of you to spread the word, and encourage all your friends and colleagues to get involved. This is not the time for complacency or to leave it to someone else. We need all of you to get involved for the sake of our profession now and in the future.”
In the Government’s 25-year environment plan, it sets out its long-term approach to protecting the environment. It promises that important areas of policy will return to UK shores following Brexit and this will include protecting species and habitats. Gamekeepers are vital in achieving this goal.
As email addresses or home addresses change, it might be that gamekeepers have not received the questionnaire, in which case please click on the following link to complete the survey online: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CST6TZV
Alternatively, to receive a hard copy by post please get in touch with the NGO or SGA. For the SGA please contact, Carol Anderson on 01738 587515 or for the NGO it’s Tina Brough on 01833 660869
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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.
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