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Debate on benefits of reared birds

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is to host a debate at The CLA Game Fair Theatre on Friday 19 July at 3pm, entitled “Reared shoots can make a significant contribution to wildlife conservation”.

Introduced by DEFRA minister Lord de Mauley, the debate will be chaired by the GWCT’s chairman, Ian Coghill. Speakers will include the RSPB’s director of conservation Martin Harper; the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation’s Charles Nodder and the GWCT’s Tom Oliver. The conclusions of the debate will be delivered by Roger Williams MP, vice-chairman of the GWCT All-Party Parliamentary Group.

The debate will follow on from the GWCT launching its innovative “Campaign for Game” on the Friday morning, and shoots across the country are being encouraged to join the initiative. The GWCT has been developing the campaign for a year, prompted by the need for shoots to demonstrate the benefits to wildlife of game management in response to criticism of gameshooting and releasing gamebirds.

A spokesman for the GWCT said: “GWCT research over many years has identified considerable environmental benefits, such as supplementary feeding and habitat management, which can arise from responsible game management. It is these benefits — already backed by substantial peer-reviewed science — that we wish to harness in this unique campaign, in order to demonstrate the important net conservation gains provided by the game management community — both locally and at a national level.”

GWCT advisers will be available throughout the three days of the Game Fair to talk through the campaign, and will be offering advice on how to join.

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

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