09 July 2020

Shoots urged to use sweepstake to support GWCT

Beaters lineWith many charities seeing a sharp drop in income due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is encouraging shoots around the country to sign up to its Shoot Sweepstake fundraising initiative for the 2020/21 season. The money raised will support the GWCT’s groundbreaking conservation research.

The restrictions and challenges faced by charities in 2020 mean that voluntary donations are more important than ever to ensure that the GWCT’s scientists can continue to help game and wildlife thrive in the British countryside. The Shoot Sweepstake scheme is an easy and effective way that shoots across the country can support the Trust.

The Shoot Sweepstake is easy to set up and quick to organise on the day of a shoot. There is no set system for the sweepstake: it can be run on the day’s bag, the number of species or the number of empty cases. Some shoots prefer a system of fines for shooting white pheasants, shooting before the whistle or for the dirtiest pair of boots.

The basic premise, like all sweepstake schemes, is that those shooting are asked to guess how many head will be shot. Whoever guesses nearest to the correct number will split the takings with the GWCT, which will reward the contributor with one bottle of sloe gin per £100 raised.

As an extra incentive, some privately owned commercial shoots also put the name of the sweepstake winner into a draw towards the end of the season to win a day’s shooting with family and friends.

Lizzie Herring, GWCT Eastern regional fundraiser, said: “This is a fun way for shoots of any size to make a difference to the GWCT. It only takes a few moments at a shoot to get the guns involved and helps create a lively sense of competition.”

Funds raised from sweepstakes enable the GWCT to monitor the migration of woodcock from the UK through the use of satellite tags; monitor and fund equipment for our predation team; investigate causes of gamebird decline in the UK; and brief government, farmers and landowners to ensure they receive science-based facts on conservation.

“Whether you are a small syndicate or a large commercial shoot,” continued Lizzie, “by inviting your guns to donate part of the sweepstake to the GWCT, you are enabling us to continue to develop game and wildlife management techniques that will help ensure the health of your sport and the British countryside.”

Participating shoots can request a free GWCT sweepstake kit containing a collection tube, shoot cards, stand markers, cartridge refuse bags, a wall planner, various pamphlets and Good Shooting Guide.

To request an order form, contact membership@gwct.org.uk or call Heather Acors on 01425 651024.

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:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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