The GWCT urgently needs to raise funds
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) does crucial work for the fieldsports community.
It challenges misinformation from the press, advises land managers and publicises the conservation successes achieved on private land.
Environmental consultant, author and campaigner Rachel Carrie sums up the GWCT’s work, saying: “Like many of you, for much longer than I have been passionate about shooting I have been passionate about wildlife and conservation. It was the time I spent outdoors as a child in nature learning about the rich tapestry of biodiversity that exists in the British countryside that eventually led me to join the shooting community. Shooting and wildlife conservation go hand in hand and it is impossible to care about one without caring deeply about the other – a reality unfortunately that the wider public become increasingly disconnected from with each generation, a message which becomes increasingly difficult to convey.”
Rachel is not afraid to engage in debate about the countryside, having faced criticism from militant vegans and vegetarians who reported her game cookery photos to Instagram as being ‘sensitive’ and ‘graphic’.
Those working for the GWCT are specialists in their field, carrying out cutting edge research throughout the British countryside. The fisheries team leads leading international research into trout and salmon declines, while GWCT demonstration farms inform both government policy and the hundreds of visitors who pass through their gates each year. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.
Significant shortfall in funds
This year the GWCT, along with other charitable organisations, is expecting to suffer a significant financial shortfall. To encourage support it has launched an exclusive new club for the next 500 people who join as members.
Andrew Gilruth, GWCT director of marketing, membership and communications, said, “We have set up a dedicated club to welcome the next 500 people who join us as members – in our hour of need. None of us know what the next few months will bring, but if you would like to support our unique programme of research, now is the time to join.”
The 500 Club members will receive a specially commissioned 500 Club badge and an invitation to welcome drinks in 2021 to meet existing members. The 500 Club is open to those deciding to support the GWCT through one of their main membership types, who make a single annual payment and who are not already a member (or were one in the last 12 months).
Mr Gilruth concluded, “We are so grateful to all our supporters who have stuck by us, but one anonymous donation of £1 has stood out for us. The envelope was addressed to the Game Conservancy Council, so was presumably from a long-term supporter, and the pound coin had been carefully wrapped. We may never be able to say thank you for this donation, but for us it symbolises just how highly some people feel about the GWCT’s long history of evidence-based conservation.”
Rachel Carrie continues: “This past month alone anti shooting activists Wild Justice have launched three new legal challenges against the shooting community, past challenges of this kind have always relied upon the GWCT to stand in our corner and lend their armoury of wildlife and habitat studies.”
“The truth is we need the GWCT now more than ever as much as they need us. They are undoubtedly the most critical of organisations and one I feel we simply couldn’t survive without. We would be foolish to give up one of our biggest assets.”