16 September 2020

It’s a family affair for good countryside practice

The Humber Family Have All Become Accredited Game Shots

Three generations of a Hertfordshire family have shown their passion for the countryside by passing the same conservation exam in short succession. Terry Humber encouraged both his son and grandson to join him in taking the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Accredited Game Shot test to prove they were using the countryside responsibly.

The test is run by the GWCT, a national conservation charity which turns scientific research into practical advice, to teach the thousands of people who shoot, hunt or control pest species in Britain to know the law and understand their role as responsible users of the countryside.

Terry, a Stevenage-based retired master baker, is a recognisable face working at the major shooting schools in the South East and Home Counties and has always encouraged his family to respect their surroundings and the wildlife that lives in it. He shoots on a syndicate at Saffron Waldon, where this year for the first time he will be joined by both son Steven, a forty-five-year-old graphic designer, and 18-year-old grandson Tim, who is starting his career in farming and gamekeeping after completing a two-year agricultural course at Shuttleworth College.

Shooting Stick

“We all found the GWCT Accredited Game Shot interesting, informative and useful and have enjoyed success in encouraging other guns to gain the award,” says Terry, 72, a BASC, APSI, CPSA and Guild of Shooting Instructors Qualified Shotgun Coach. “I’d love to know if anyone out there has more than three generations who’ve passed the test”, he adds. This family affair goes even further, as Terry’s brother Keith is also a proud Accredited Shot. Keith has even used his passion for crafting shooting sticks to make each of them their own handcrafted stick as a memento, complete with their badge of honour.

The accreditation, launched in 2018, has seen almost 9,000 people step up to the challenge, but fewer than 40% of them have passed, showing just what an achievement this is for Terry and his family.

GWCT’s press and publications manager James Swyer said: “This shows how wonderful fieldsports can be, not just for local communities, but for families too. It is in the interests of all those who go shooting to help prevent poor practice overshadowing the great conservation work done by others, a message Terry has passed down the generations. Hopefully, more families can follow suit.”

If Tim is anything to go by, the future of the British countryside is in safe hands. He credits his grandad’s influence and experience, stating how he “hopes that I can use the skills and knowledge I have garnered to help in some small way to put a little back to improve our environment”.

The Accredited Game Shot test is completely free to take and is available online at www.gwctknowledge.com.

Notes to editors

About the Test
We have developed the free GWCT Accredited Game Shot test to give Guns confidence:

  1. Asking appropriate questions of their own shoots or the ones they visit or buy days from.
  2. Appreciating the ways in which a gamekeeper is a working conservationist.
  3. Engaging in controversial issues affecting shooting (e.g. lead shot and the use of medication in game rearing)
  4. Explaining the ways legislation and regulation covers shoot management.

It is vital that a balanced case is made for gamebird management. Some notable, high profile opinions published recently have lacked this balance. As an evidence-based research organisation the GWCT would seek to put that right. With the correct knowledge, individual Guns can also help make than happen.

This website (www.gwctknowledge.com) and our book The Knowledge contain all the information you need to help you become a GWCT Accredited Game Shot via an online multiple-choice assessment, which typically takes less than 20 minutes to complete. The test is FREE to take.

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

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