The GWCT’s biodiversity advisors already work with shoots across the country on ‘shoot biodiversity assessments’ but, Dr Roger Draycott, GWCT director of advisory and education, says he wants to help shoots to evaluate their contribution to biodiversity by creating a simple online tool, free and accessible to all, to encourage sector-wide change.
The online assessment tool will ask a series of qualitative and quantitative questions around different aspects of game management, such as release densities, areas of release pen, area of woodland and different types of game cover, and questions about predation and pest control, and feeding regime.
The resulting output will indicate the contribution to biodiversity conservation in different areas of game management on the user’s individual shoot.
Any shoot can use the tool to better understand the effect they are having on the land they shoot over and consider new ways in which they could make a positive contribution to biodiversity by tweaking some of their management. With potentially fewer birds on the ground this year, questioning ourselves as to best outcomes, is thought provoking and may well be helpful to your shoot.
Charlotte Marrison is GWCT Shropshire branch chairman