Gunmaker James Purdey & Sons has announced that The Purdey Awards for Game & Conservation will return for 2022, with applications now open.
Established in 1999, the awards have been held annually to promote a wider appreciation of the outstanding game and habitat conservation work carried out by shoots throughout the UK and to give well-deserved recognition and reward to the best.
Since its founding, more than 250 shoots, from the smallest to some of the largest across the UK have entered. Entries have ranged from grouse moor restorations to grey partridge conservation projects, from fenland wild pheasant shoots to wildfowling clubs, and includes a superbly restored one-acre wild duck flighting pond. To date, more than 75 individuals, syndicates or clubs have won a Purdey Award for Game and Conservation, sharing more than £100,000 in prize money.
The Purdey Awards are judged by a panel of 15 experts, chaired by the Duke of Wellington. Each applicant is required to complete an online application form and a questionnaire devised by Dr Nick Sotherton of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), outlining their shoot’s practices, projects and results in support of conservation over a given time period.
This can include: heather moorland restoration; new hedge or woodland plantings; deforestation; siting of cover crops, or the effectiveness of new scrapes and ponds in attracting wild duck and other waterfowl; and careful logging of bird counts, vermin control, habitat improvements and species biodiversity.
Entrants are also required to sign a declaration that they, and all connected with their shoot, and in whatever capacity, are conversant and in compliance with the Code of Good Shooting Practice.
After careful assessment by Dr Mike Swan of the GWCT Advisory Service and other judges, all applications are submitted, along with a report of their findings, to all members of the judging panel. The panel meets in June to select a shortlist for judging visits in August and September, and reconvenes in October to determine the winners. The winners remain a closely guarded secret until announced at the prize giving ceremony, to be held in London in February 2023.
Dan Jago, chairman and CEO of James Purdey & Sons, said: ‘We are proud to be once more championing the extraordinary conservation work that goes on to support shoots across the UK. The Purdey Awards celebrate the individuals and groups who embody the values and responsibilities of environmental stewardship, community sustainability, as well as a fundamental respect for the quarry species, and care for the environment.’
Deadline to submit applications is June 1. Visit www.purdey.com/shooting-life/purdey-awards