Fair game

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

GREY par­tridge are clear win­ners this year, with both the gold and sil­ver prizes in the 2016 Purdey Awards for Game and Con­ser­va­tion given to es­tates that have pro­vided ‘ex­em­plary and suc­cess­ful’ restora­tion projects for these na­tive birds.

Gold went to the Port­loughan Shoot in Co Down, the owner of which, David Sand­ford, man­aged to per­suade 21 neigh­bour­ing farm­ers to work to­gether with him un­der the North­ern Ire­land Coun­try­side Man­age­ment Scheme, and sil­ver to the Port­way Es­tate in Hamp­shire, where owner Richard Wills was praised for his ex­cel­lent habi­tat cre­ation. The win­ners were an­nounced last week by the Duke of Welling­ton, chair­man of the awards panel, at a cer­e­mony in Purdey & Sons’ fa­mous Long Room and the prizes were given out by coun­try­side broad­caster Ju­lia Brad­bury. ‘They show what a well-run shoot can do to pre­serve and de­velop wildlife and Na­ture,’ com­ments Richard Purdey, who has run the awards since 1999. ‘They also dis­play great lead­er­ship and demon­strate what the shoot­ing and farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties can achieve by work­ing to­gether.’ The bronze prize went to Lit­tle Haugh Hall Shoot in Suf­folk, which has been re­warded for its ‘con­tin­u­ous in­vest­ment in top-class con­ser­va­tion work’, ben­e­fit­ing game- and farm­land-bird habi­tats over 2,000 acres. JF

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