A unique fundraising event was held, in Suffolk on Friday, 28th February, which has helped to raise money for the UK's leading wildlife research charity, as well as showcasing some of the country's most notable gunmakers.
The Gunmakers' Evening was located in the stunning surroundings of the Jockey Club in Newmarket, which houses one of the largest and most magnificent collections of sporting art in the world, for the benefit of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT). The guests were introduced to stands by gunmakers such as Westley Richards, E.J.Churchill, William Powell, Atkin Grant & Lang, Manor & Co, John Dickson and Son, Blaser and Fox & Co, alongside optics by Swarovski, some beautiful artisan jewellery and pottery, antique firearms from Holt's auctioneers, whisky from the English Whisky Co., country clothing from Goldings and a stand highlighting the marvellous work of the Country Food Trust.
Attendees were able to enjoy a glass of wine and canapes, whilst savouring the surroundings and wandering around the stands; they also had the opportunity to finish the evening with a lavish three-course dinner. Everyone was treated to a fascinating talk on pheasants by Roger Draycott, the GWCT's Head of Advisory. His account of the history of pheasant shooting, how it has shaped the landscape and supported wildlife conservation (particularly for warblers) held the audience spellbound.
Neil Graham, the Suffolk chairman for the GWCT, said, "This was a very enjoyable evening for everyone who attended, and a great way not just to raise awareness of conservation but also contribute to it!"
The money raised will go towards the GWCT's scientific research, which is dedicated to investigating and finding practical ways to reverse wildlife decline in the UK, so that our countryside may be enjoyed by future generations.
A raffle was held during the evening, as well as an impromptu auction for the GWCT's benefit by Jonathan Benson from Reeman Dansie. The GWCT would like to thank all those who attended and supported the event, in particular, the main sponsor, Knight Frank.
Lizzie Herring, the GWCT's regional organiser for Suffolk, said, "I can't think of a more splendid venue for the Gunsmiths' Evening than the Jockey Club. We certainly hope to be back for more GWCT events in future."
For more information about the GWCT please visit www.gwct.org.uk. To learn more about forthcoming GWCT events in Suffolk please contact Lizzie Herring at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07885 897647.
Photocredits (all pictures): Photography by Helen Tinner
(1) GWCT Head Advisor Roger Draycott gave a fascinating talk at the Gunsmiths' Evening. The Knowledge is a recommended shooting and conservation guide published by the GWCT.
(2) Guests at the Jockey Club were introduced to some of the country's most notable gunmakers (l to r: Ian Spicer and Jon Carrington from Blaser).
(3) Arts and crafts on display at the Gunsmiths' Evening included prints by renowned Norfolk wildlife artist Annabel Pope.
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:
Telephone: 01425 651000