Join the GWCT in saving the Grey Partridge

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust will be hosting a grey partridge event in the Yorkshire Wolds on 20 June, in an effort to help boost the numbers of these iconic birds. The event will be held at Greenlands Farm, Bridlington, by kind permission of Mr Tim Coleman. The event, which will be run by Henrietta Appleton and Dr Roger Draycott, a senior ecologist with the GWCT, will start at 4.00pm and include plenty of free advice, five topical tips on how to boost partridge numbers, and a tour around the farm to discuss year-round partridge management.

Business, wildlife charities and farmers are uniting in an effort to boost the prospects for one of the UK’s fastest declining birds; the wild grey partridge, which has declined by about 86 per cent over the past 40 years.  However, research by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust has established the main reasons for its decline and is encouraging farmers, gamekeepers and landowners  to target their conservation efforts towards saving this iconic species. Henrietta Appleton, a GWCT advisor, said, “The Yorkshire Wolds offers fantastic potential for wild grey partridges and we are delighted to be running an event in this area on 20 June to show the art of the possible.”

Currently the GWCT estimates through its national Partridge Count Scheme that the Yorkshire Wolds, including Holderness and the Humberhead Levels around Goole, could hold at least 8,500 wild grey partridges.  Although the GWCT is currently monitoring 28 sites across the Wolds, just 203 pairs of grey partridges have been recorded.  Henrietta Appleton explains, “Potentially, we could see a lot more partridges in the area, but we need more people to carry out conservation work to help the species and importantly, we need more farmers and landowners  involved in our count scheme, so that we can more accurately measure the existing population.”

Numbers have declined, but GWCT research has revealed how partridge conservation efforts can be helped

Numbers have declined, but GWCT research has revealed how partridge conservation efforts can be helped

The group meeting at Greenlands Farm has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of Savills, who recognise the importance of encouraging a wider audience to help save this iconic species.  The event is also being supported by the RSPB, with Chris Tomson explaining how conservation projects for wild grey partridges have huge knock-on benefits for other struggling farmland birds.

To attend this special partridge event on 20 June at Greenlands Farm, Bridlington, please contact Lynda Ferguson at the GWCT on 01425 651013 or email lferguson@gwct.org.uk.  Alternatively, the event can be booked online at : www.gwct.org.uk/courses

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