From left, Dr Rogert Draycott, GWCT's 2019 East Anglian Grey Partridge Award winner Adam Steed and sponsor Hugo Johnsen of Castleacre at Wyken Hall. Picture by Sarah Chambers of East Anglian Daily Times
GAMEKEEPER Adam Steed has scooped the 2019 East Anglian Grey Partridge Award.
Run by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), the award is designed to recognise the improvement made to native grey partridge populations in this area by farmers and landowners.
This certainly applies to Adam whose conservation efforts have seen numbers of grey partridges soar at Red House Farm, Bacton.
He’s been gamekeeping part-time at Bacton, where he organises shoots and carries out a significant amount of work to encourage wildlife, for the past 10 years.
The farm where he operates is owned by pig farmers the Black family, of David Black & Son, the company behind Bacton Pigs.
“I'm absolutely thrilled as it’s a very coveted award,” said Adam, who is a PE teacher.
“When harvest comes and you start seeing these rare birds doing well and it's a product of the work you have put in, it's very rewarding.”
He picked up his East Anglian Grey Partridge Conservation award at the GWCT's annual farm walk, which was hosted by the previous year's trophy winner.
2018 winner Sir Kenneth Carlisle, of Wyken Hall Estate, near Bury St Edmunds, took farmers and farm professionals at the event on a tour of his 1,100 acre farm, accompanied by Dr Roger Draycott, head of advisory services at the GWCT, and Hugo Johnsen, director of sponsors Castleacre Insurance.
Sir Kenneth's estate is contract farmed by Will Reed of Pakenham, who talked farmers through some of the successes and challenges of the conservation work carried out on the farm.
The Trust promotes grey partridge populations, which it sees as a useful barometer of the environmental health of farms - and it says numbers in the region are on the up.
Grey partridge habitat is also good for other birds like yellowhammers, skylarks and linnets, he said, and all of these species were seeing population growth on the farm, helped by more neighbouring farms adopting 6m bird and bee-friendly margins to encourage wildlife.
Dr Draycott said: “Adam Steed is a very deserving winner of this award.”
“He has been really been committed to providing particularly good all-round habitat for the grey and full credit goes to him.”
The next grey partridge meeting takes place at Calmsden Manor, Cotswolds on September 23rd.
Anyone interested in attending the farm walk, which costs £15, click here
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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Telephone: 01425 651000