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.