The Speakers at the event in North Lodge Farm
LEADING countryside organisations discussed a range of issues the shooting industry faces at an event in Nottinghamshire last week.
Those discussing self-regulation in shooting, wildlife management and game processing at North Lodge Farm included the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) Austin Weldon, managing director of the British Game Alliance (BGA) Tom Adams, chairman of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Liam Bell and Chris Horne from Guns on Pegs.
Issues about getting game to market featured strongly in each of the talks with the resounding conclusion from the panel of organisations being, if shoots were to make a few small changes to the way that they run their shoot and process their game, the industry would have a sizeable change in perceptions by the following season.
Interesting questions arose from the room, filled by gamekeepers and landowners, on the results of the first round of BGA shoot audits – highlighting a range of small common non-compliances such as the need for chillers to ensure that the game is properly stored for consumption.
Tom Adams said: "It was a great opportunity to engage many shoot owners and keepers about the work of the BGA, and how credible self-regulation and game marketing are vital to a sustainable future for shooting. We had a great response with over 20 shoots signing up on the day and many more engaging with us."
Andrew Gilruth, director of communications at GWCT, answered some pressing questions regarding the decision made by Natural England to withdraw General Licences.
Austin Weldon commented: “Scientific research undertaken by the GWCT has the potential to deliver proven benefits for game and wildlife alike. With the growing pressures on game shooting, robust research and best practice practical advice continues to grow in importance.”
Chris Butterfield, who organised the event on his farm, said: “The GWCT-led event had an array of excellent speakers and was well attended, making it a great success. Thank you to everyone who made it possible.”
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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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