SHOOT BRIEF­ING

Shooting Gazette - - This Month -

The Calms­den Es­tate has won a top GWCT award for grey par­tridge con­ser­va­tion for the sec­ond time.

Game­keeper Will Pratt in­her­ited just seven pairs of grey par­tridges when he ar­rived at the es­tate in 2014. Since then he has over­seen an in­crease in the spring pair count to 40, and this year’s au­tumn count has found 257 young – a 5:4 young-to-hen ra­tio – mak­ing a to­tal of 348 grey par­tridges on Calms­den.

“Will’s en­thu­si­asm for the lit­tle grey bird is noth­ing short of in­fec­tious,” said GWCT bio­di­ver­sity ad­viser Peter Thomp­son. “He is also a stick­ler for get­ting ev­ery­thing just right. Habi­tat in the form of nest­ing cover, in­sect-rich cover for the chicks, win­ter cover for pro­tec­tion and sup­ple­men­tary feed­ing have all been in­creased and im­proved. This, cou­pled with thor­ough, tar­geted preda­tor con­trol from March to the end of June, un­der­pins his suc­cess.”

The Cotswold Grey Par­tridge Tro­phy is awarded an­nu­ally to the per­son or es­tate that has done the most for grey par­tridge con­ser­va­tion and was first pre­sented to the Calms­den Es­tate in 2008.

Calms­den owner Mark Tufnell (left) and Will Pratt with the tro­phy.

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