Bronze prize at game and conservation awards

A Scots business was celebrating last night, after taking a prize at the 2018 Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation.

At a ceremony held in London gun and rifle maker James Purdey & Sons’ famous Long Room, where the Bronze Award was given to Whitburgh Farms, Midlothian.

They have made notable changes to their shoot to create an extensive wildlife habitat being replicable by other farmers on a smaller scale.

A cheque for £2000 was awarded to Alastair Salvesen and Whitburgh Farms for its excellent grey partridge recovery project. Running since 2010, the results and success of this project are a reflection of Mr Salvesen’s commitment, dedication, vision and investment.

The changes made to the shoot include 7% of previously cultivated land being taken out of production and used to create an extensive wildlife habitat. Alongside this and where possible, cultivated fields enjoy 8m margins on almost all headlands and fields of barley divided by a similar sized strips designed to host essential insect life.

Mr Salvesen’s overall objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of the project being replicable by other farmers on a smaller scale, an ambitious and entirely admirable goal.

The Duke of Wellington, chairman of the Awards judging panel, announced the 2018 winners of Purdey’s annual competition to find the UK’s most outstanding game and conservation projects. The recipients were presented with their awards by David Gower OBE, broadcaster and former international cricketer.

The Gold Award was won by the Howesyke Shoot, Yorkshire for their work in woodland and heather restoration, as well as a successful black grouse reestablishment scheme.

The Silver Award was given to the Burnham Thorpe Shoot, Norfolk for their success in creating and blending a grey partridge project with a traditional syndicate shoot.