Duncan, originally from Dores, Inverness, was presented with the award by trophy sponsors the George Linton Memorial Trust at Lantra Scotland’s Land-based and Aquaculture Learner of the Year Awards 2013, held near Stirling, on March 6.
Currently a game and wildlife modern apprentice at North Highland College, Duncan has been working at Dunglass Estate for the past three years, two as part of his apprenticeship programme.
Nineteen-year-old Greg Sinclair from New Alyth, Perthshire, was named as the runner-up.
Speaking following the acceptance of his award, Duncan said: “Winning the Lantra Game & Wildlife Learner of the Year Award 2013 means everything to me, and I thank North Highland College, Lantra and Dunglass Estate for helping me get here. The Modern Apprenticeship scheme has helped underpin the knowledge gained at North Highland College with hands on practical experience. Having my employer at Dunglass Estate oversee my work has also been a great help. He has passed on his knowledge and experience, and given me the grounding I need to succeed. In the short-term my aim is to carry on my studies, hopefully completing both my NC and HNC in Gamekeeping. Following that I hope to get a full-time job as a grouse moor gamekeeper.”
Award nominator David Olds from North Highland College said: “Duncan carries out his role at Dunglass with tremendous efficiency. He is always organised, polite and happy at his work. His communication skills are exceptional which is vital when he has to be able to instruct shoot day helpers on what they are expected to do on the day. His good nature is also present in the classroom where a lot of trainee gamekeepers generally don’t like to be. I feel he fully deserves recognition for his efforts, commitment and attitude. I am sure he has a very bright and successful future in gamekeeping and is an ideal role model for other young gamekeeping apprentices to follow.”