The award follows the work of 23 students from the Diploma in Countryside Management course at Boyton Hall, whose owners wanted to enhance their shoot habitat.

The Writtle College student’s duties included opening up four tracks to allow easier access to partridge and pheasant feeders and laying brash to create a wildlife corridor for invertebrates and small mammals.

John Spencer, countryside lecturer at Writtle College, said: “Game shooting is a large part of lowland farm management and has a positive impact on conservation. Shoots keep and maintain important woodland habitats that may otherwise be left unmanaged or removed. Woodlands support not only game but other important wildlife such as warblers, small mammals, bats and deer. By carefully clearing areas for access to the feeders, the environment will also be warmer, encouraging invertebrates such as butterflies and dragonflies.

“The students gained practical hands-on experience of managing a private estate and the issues affecting today’s private estate owners.”

Writtle College student Peter, 51, from Springfield in Chelmsford, said: “It’s always great to get out into the countryside and put into practice what has been learnt in the classroom.”

Stephen O’Donnell, head of Mashbury and Boyton Hall shooting syndicate , and Chris Philpot, farm owner, said: “This new partnership with Writtle College and Boyton Hall enabled students to get some valuable hands-on experience. Through this award, we want to encourage students to get into and enthuse about the game management tasks.”

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