The first-ever national survey of Britain?s gamekeepers has revealed the key role they play in conserving wildlife and habitats across the country.

Nearly 1,000 gamekeepers from England, Scotland and Wales, representing a fifth of the entire profession, took part in the survey. Among other results, it found that the area of land managed by gamekeepers is 13 times that of all RSPB Reserves.

National Gamekeepers? Organisation chairman Lindsay Waddell said: ?The truth is that gamekeepers undoubtedly host more wildlife on their land than all the nature conservation bodies put together.?

The results from the survey, which was commissioned by the NGO and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, showed how land managed by gamekeepers is teeming with wildlife, including many rare and charismatic species.

More than 80 per cent of respondents reported having kestrels, buzzards, sparrowhawks, barn and tawny owls on their land. Some other birds of prey, such as the common buzzard, were seen as having detrimental effects on game and wildlife, but were tolerated nonetheless.

The rest of this article appears in 3rd August issue of Shooting Times.

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  • Peter Lennie

    Now that once again the expertize of the gamekeepers has been proved to be the most benifical to UK wildlife, no doubt the tree huggers et al will find ways to decry the findings.

    Anyone who has had dealings with keepers knows they are the “salt of the earth” and should be given the credit they deserve, & the respect of all citizens of the UK.

    To see the results of their labours on the land they keep, has only to be seen by the results they achieve and the time they spend at it.

    As an expatriat Scot living in Canada I say well done to ALL Gamekeepers it is a hard profession & you deserve all the plaudits you richly deserve. Keep up the great work.