Great British Shooting Award Winner 2021
Outstanding contribution to conservation – Duke of Northumberland
The Duke of Northumberland has undertaken a number of projects on the Northumberland estate. In 2012, together with the Environment Agency, six new fish passes were installed on the river Aln, significantly improving breeding opportunities for salmon, sea trout and eels. Other projects with the Northumberland Rivers Trust have seen the creation of settlement ponds and swales on estate owned land along the River Aln, designed to prevent soil erosion and run off into the river as well as improving wildlife habitats. The Duke is also a keen supporter of red squirrel conservation work and recently launched a levy scheme to encourage landowners to aid conservation efforts. He also hosted an awards ceremony designed to honour volunteers who assist conservation efforts nationwide.
In 2007 Northumberland Estates won the prestigious Purdey Award for its ground breaking work to halt the decline in grey partridge numbers. Recognising that existing conservation schemes of the time were doing little more for existing grey partridge populations than allowing them to survive, the first move was to improve habitat. Begun in 2004, the project had already seen the number of greys increase significantly from a starting point of just 15 pairs when the award was won. What has resulted is not just a dramatic increase in grey partridge numbers, but bird counts show populations of many other species have also improved including tree sparrows, yellowhammers, blackbirds, and many more.