06 October 2021

“Help us get sound science into the hands of the policymakers,” says Sir Jim Paice, GWCT Chairman and former Defra minister

Sir Jim PaiceSir Jim Paice, Chairman of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), has called on people who care about the British countryside to help the charity challenge misinformation and ensure that policy decisions are based on science.

“The GWCT is a small organisation with limited resources, but we have a real impact,” said Sir Jim. “We have all seen the headlines about our climate, about the need to store more carbon, about species in decline. We live in a world that is always looking for simple answers. Our researchers don’t look for simple answers, but for ones that make a positive difference.

“For over 80 years, GWCT research has helped to inform the way the British countryside is managed. One of our challenges now is to ensure that the big decisions are made with science in mind.”

It is vital, said Sir Jim, that the GWCT continues to undertake its world-leading research and to put it directly in the hands of those making our laws. To enable this, he has renewed his call for support for the GWCT’s Unleash the Science Fund, which he launched last year.

In a recent update for members and supporters, Sir Jim said that their generous support had helped the charity to demonstrate how important its sound scientific research is in challenging misinformation and giving working conservationists a voice.

“This fund gives us the confidence to plan ahead for the challenges we continue to face. It supports over 60 GWCT scientific staff, just returning from a fieldwork season in which they’ve been busy collecting the data that will inform our work for years to come. To keep doing this,” said Sir Jim, “we need our supporters’ help. Please consider donating to our Unleash the Science Fund.”


Sir Jim highlighted misinformation in the press and on social media, and decisions driven by petitions rather than science, which have resulted in bizarre last-minute amendments to policy. He said: “Those working hard to help our countryside and its wildlife to thrive cannot, and should not, be straitjacketed like this. The GWCT is an organisation that is committed to standing up for wildlife and those working hard to support it.”

Whether counting grouse, analysing the effects of burning and cutting heather, assessing the impact of squirrels on woodland birds, GPS tracking curlew, or developing better game crops, GWCT scientists’ work makes a vital contribution to furthering the national understanding of these important issues.

“With our supporters’ help, we can stand up for the future of British conservation and deliver real change on the ground,” commented Sir Jim. “Every donation, whether it’s £5, £50 or £2,500, helps us provide robust, evidence-led science to the people managing our countryside and the lawmakers deciding its future.”

A short video about how donations support the work of GWCT scientists is available below.

Those looking to donate to donate towards the GWCT can do so at www.gwct.org.uk/fund


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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