The conservation of game as a natural resource.

Author Middleton, A.D. & Ash, J.S.
Citation Middleton, A.D. & Ash, J.S. (1964). The conservation of game as a natural resource. In: 'The Countryside in 1970' Study Conference: 1-14. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London.


(1) In this paper we shall try to present a realistic summary of the extent of game conservation and management for shooting, In considering various environments and changes in the British countryside during the next decade the shooting of game birds and other species obviously has an important impact on any plan of wildlife conservation in most of the open country, At present we must face the fact that conflict exists between certain aspects of nature conservation and shooting interests, although in recent years there have been many examples of co-operation and understanding between individuals and organisations concerned, e g,  between the Wildfowlers' Association and the Nature Conservancy. The problem cannot be ignored, since it appears that the rapid growth of Nature Conservation has been accompanied by an equally rapid surge of interest in game production and an increase in the demand for game shooting, One of the major objectives of the Game Research Association's work is to show, through research and training, how a useful level of game population can be maintained - as we believe it can - in harmony with all other land use.

(2) The most important game birds. in Great Britain are Partridges, Pheasants and Grouse. Other species, including wildfowl, make up quite a large proportion of the total shooting but on most established shoots their management is secondary or only  incidental to that of the three main species. It will be noticed that we have devoted little space to grouse in this paper, due mainly to the fact that both authors, in the Game Research Association, have so far given most attention to lowland game problems, particularly relating to the pheasant and partridge population. Grouse play a very important part in the economics of extensive areas of moorland in the North and West of Britain, and there is no doubt that they have an even greater potential as a shooting crop than is being exploited at present.

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