Mountain Hare HidingAs our name indicates, we conduct a large amount of research on non-game/quarry species. This work goes back to our research on farmland when we noticed how butterflies and rare arable wild flowers benefited where pesticides were excluded from crop edges to benefit partridges. At this point, the penny dropped. There were some instances when management for gamebirds impacted on the wider flora and fauna.

These studies on the impact of game management included pioneering work on rare arable flora, farmland butterflies, small mammals and on declining farmland birds. The GWCT conducted some of the earliest studies on corn bunting, turtle dove, skylark and yellowhammer, as well as on grey partridge. We also studied the protection given to ground-nesting species such as curlew, golden plover and lapwing when gamekeepers work to manage red grouse. Our entire ethos behind developing the mink raft was to protect water voles, hardly a quarry species!

We believe the principles driving game management can be applied to non-game species, especially where we seek to halt declines and encourage population recovery.

Key staff

  • John Holland BSc MSc PhD
  • Dave Parish BSc PhD
  • Julie Ewald BS MS PhD
  • Jonathan Reynolds BSc PhD

Our research into reversing the decline of songbirds and waders; conservation of wildfowl; and management of raptors such as hen harriers.


Our mammal research is wide ranging, including management of brown and mountain hares, and conservation of water voles.


Read more about the importance of insects in farmland, both as food for young birds and as pollinators for crops and wildflowers.

Woodland biodiversity

More on our research into managing woodland for conservation, and implications for species such as pheasant and deer.

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