Mink footprints

All about the mink and why mink rafts are an effective form of control

With all the news about new rules for trapping stoats, and changes to general licences for corvid control, it’s easy to forget that there are other predators out there that we need to address – like the American mink Why we need to control mink When we think about mink…

Shotgun cartridges

Shooting groups defend progress on lead transition

Non-toxic shot progress Shooting organisations have defended the progress of the five-year transition away from the use of lead and single-use plastics in shotgun ammunition. The plan to make shooting more sustainable and to head off Government regulation has come under attack for not making enough progress after a study…

shooting close to footpath

Why funding the GWCT is vital

Scientists are riding to the rescue of humankind. The UK’s scientific community is playing a globally recognised role in developing vaccines to combat the pandemic. Public and private money is being poured into research and manufacturing facilities. So why are we in the shooting community leaving the GWCT short of…

Redwing

Big Farmland Bird Count back for 2021

Gamekeepers, farmers and land managers across the country are being asked to pledge their support to the  Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Big Farmland Bird Count. The GWCT is asking you to spend 30 minutes spotting species on a patch of land between the 5 and 21 February 2021…

shoot management

Conservation projects to carry out during lockdown

If you are involved in shoot management in any way, do consider the following. Is there still a decent shrub layer, or has canopy closure started to starve out the sunlight that is so essential to woodland floor habitat? Aside from a few very early starters such as ravens and…

woodcock shooting

How we can help nurture our wonderful woodcock

Woodcock have a reputation of being unpredictable in their movements, here today and gone tomorrow. So you could be forgiven for feeling that whether or not you shoot them makes little difference to numbers in the long-term. To the Victorian sportsman, a ‘fall’ was not to be missed. If the…

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…

GWCT launches 12 gamebird management principles

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…

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,…