adder

Pheasant releases ‘could wipe out adders in most of Britain’

A recent article in The Guardian stating that adders are endangered due to “uncontrolled release of millions of game birds” is incorrect say the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the National Gamekeepers Organisation (NGO). The piece highlights the claim of Nigel Hand, a trustee of Amphibian and Reptile…

perfect pheasant pen

GWCT launches 12 gamebird management principles

Responsible shooters should always support conservation and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has now published 12 clear principles for sustainable gamebird management.  Extensive research by the GWCT shows that good game management will deliver a net biodiversity gain, a goal for all shoots. “Biodiversity net gain is embedded…

boy climbing tree

New Natural History GCSE to help young understand natural world

Cambridge Assessment has confirmed that its UK exam board OCR is developing a new GCSE in Natural History, following a consultation open to all parties. The idea was proposed by conservationist Mary Colwell, who wants “to make nature part of British society again”. She was concerned that young people were…

Scotland's grouse moors

LACS report slammed by shooting groups

The publication of Calculating Cruelty by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) has been blasted by shooting groups, who criticise it for inaccuracy, misreporting and unsound science. The report was timed to coincide with the start of the grouse shooting season. LACS claims that an “independent surveyor” was appointed to…

Grouse moor

The man-made idyll of grouse moors

Coming from the soft south, 
I didn’t see a live grouse until I was 19. That was in the summer of 1974, when I took off to the Cairngorms for a couple of weeks to go youth hostelling with a friend. There were new sights around every corner, with dotterel,…

Grey partridges

GWCT launches fact checking website to counter misreporting

In a move to address the frequent misreporting of science relating to land management and shooting in the national press, radio and media, the GWCT has launched a fact checking website: “What the Science Says”. “We want to correct bad information in the media, highlighting where claims have no basis…

Ben Goldsmith

Defra director Ben Goldsmith accused of releasing deer and wild boar

Reports have alleged that Defra director Ben Goldsmith has allowed red deer to escape from his Somerset farm. (The official post held by Mr Goldsmith, 39, is as a non-executive board member at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.) There have been calls for him to resign on…

joining a picking-up team

RSPB announces first results of gamebird shooting review

Last year the RSPB announced that it was reviewing its policy on gamebird shooting and would be investigating moorland management for driven grouse shooting and non-native gamebird release. As part of the process it consulted with members, volunteers, staff and stakeholders. The charity has now published its first-stage findings, which…

GWCT wetlands project

GWCT calls for vital funds to continue essential work

A letter to members of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) from chief executive Teresa Dent CBE, has illustrated the extent of financial support urgently needed by the Trust. In spring the charity was forced to cancel its fund raising events and lost its paid work due to the…

Scotland's grouse moors

Revive report finds against Scotland’s grouse moors

Revive was launched in  November 2018  with the aim of “working for grouse moor reform in Scotland.” The coalition’s new report entitled: “A Better Way: How an alternative to grouse moors could help tackle climate change, increase biodiversity and benefit Scotland’s people” concludes that grouse moors have caused significant ecological damage…

GWCT apron

Test your shooting knowledge and WIN!

In association with Shooting Times, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is running a monthly competition to win a GWCT apron. So you can cook those game recipes in style and show off your mastery of shooting and rural matters at the same time. You’ll find the quiz every…

Numbers point to a record year for Big Farmland Bird Count

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), which organises the Big Farmland Bird Count, said the results were dropping in every five minutes. Jim Egan of the GWCT said: “We look like having a record year in terms of the number of counts returned. I can say that, so far, 127…

Big Farmland Bird Count

Big Farmland Bird Count back for 2019

Gamekeepers, farmers and land managers across the country are being asked to pledge their support to the Big Farmland Bird Count. The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust-led project is back for the sixth successive year. The GWCT is asking you to spend 30 minutes spotting species on a patch of…

Snipe

How to create an ideal habitat for snipe to thrive

Growing up in Surrey, snipe were rarely on my horizon. The heaths are mostly too dry for them and the arable farmlands were the wrong habitat. Clandon Park, where I learned the beater’s trade, rarely held one either. Even the Medway saltings, where my father initiated me as a wildfowler,…

GWCT launches SAMARCH salmon project

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has launched a new project, SAMARCH (Salmonid Management Round the Channel), to provide vital research on rapidly declining salmon and sea trout populations. SAMARCH is a cross-border project, with 10 partner organisations — five in France and five in the UK — and…

Defra boss shares rural vision

Rural groups have welcomed the commitment to British farming shown by Defra secretary Michael Gove as he set out his vision for the future of the industry in a speech earlier this month. Speaking at the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference, Mr Gove highlighted issues he wished to tackle to ensure…

Ilkley Moor

Fury as councillors end shooting on Ilkley Moor

Bradford Council’s Labour Group has refused to renew the grouse shooting lease on Ilkley Moor in a move shooting groups claimed was made to appease the animal rights lobby. Bradford Labour has majority on the council and a decision to renew the lease rested in its hands. The lease had…