The NGO and the SGA are joining forces to undertake a nationwide survey that wil shine a light on the conservation efforts of gamekeepers
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association are joining forces to undertake an ambitious nationwide survey that will shine a light on the work of the gamekeeping community. This important survey aims to gain an up-to-date understanding of the range of benefits game management contributes to conservation in the UK.
A nationwide survey by the NGO and SGA in 2011 revealed the true extent of the conservation work carried out by gamekeepers. Significantly, the survey showed that gamekeepers look after an area of land that is five times the area of National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and that game management plays a crucial role in preserving the habitats and wildlife so important to Britain’s biodiversity.
Although at that time the survey’s conclusions were overwhelmingly positive, the need to up-date this survey with more detailed information and statistics has become pressing.
It is for this reason that the NGO together with the SGA have put their backs behind undertaking a new gamekeeper conservation survey in 2019, which will be collated and analysed by the Independent research charity, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).
Liam Bell, Chairman of the NGO explains the importance of this new survey. He said, “All those involved in shoot management know about the extraordinary conservation achievements of gamekeepers. But frequently these are unrecorded secrets.
“We want our new survey to shout loudly and proudly about our achievements. We want to present the results of this survey widely to policy makers, the media and the general public to give them more insight on our crucial role in conserving our wonderful British countryside. We want to show that the countryside would be a much poorer place without our efforts.”
Professor Nick Sotherton, Director of Research at the GWCT said, “The GWCT works on facts derived from sound science, experimentation and survey. This new survey of management undertaken by gamekeepers continues a long line of such surveys started in 2011. At a time when the activities surrounding game management are in sharp focus, such a survey is timely and much needed.”
Liam Bell, stresses the need to get involved, “It is absolutely vital that we all return these completed questionnaires. How are we going to fight our ongoing battles unless we have concrete evidence to illustrate more clearly what we do and what this achieves? I would urge all of you to spread the word, and encourage all your friends and colleagues to get involved. This is not the time for complacency or to leave it to someone else. We need all of you to get involved for the sake of our profession now and in the future.”
In the Government’s 25 year environment plan it sets out its long-term approach to protecting the environment. It promises that important areas of policy will return to UK shores following Brexit and this will includes protecting species and habitats. Gamekeepers are vital in achieving this goal. Liam Bell concludes, “Let’s prove that it is, but only by providing the evidence through the new survey will we be able to demonstrate this.
As email addresses or home addresses change, it might be that gamekeepers have not received the questionnaire, in which case please click on the following link to complete the survey online: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CST6TZV
Alternatively, to receive a hard copy by post please get in touch with the NGO or SGA. For the SGA please contact: Carol Anderson on 01738 587515 or for the NGO: Tina Brough on: 01833 660869
Photocaption: Gamekeeper Charlie Mellor in Sussex is monitoring insect numbers with a sweep net on a conservation headland created for wildlife. Photo-credit: Peter Thompson
The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation: The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO) represents the gamekeepers of England and Wales. The NGO defends and promotes gamekeeping and gamekeepers and works to ensure high standards throughout the profession. The National Gamekeepers’ Organisation was founded in 1997 by a group of gamekeepers who felt that keepering was threatened by public misunderstanding and poor representation. Today, there are 13,000 members of the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation. www.nationalgamekeepers.org.uk