‘Per­fect’ es­tate wins at Purdey Awards

The Field - - Opening Shots -

A small sport­ing es­tate in the York­shire Dales, started from scratch, is the wor­thy win­ner of the 2018 Purdey Awards for

Game and Con­ser­va­tion.

Judges praised He­len and Rob Brown for their pas­sion, en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm in turn­ing Howesyke, an in­ten­sively man­aged hill farm, into a “per­fect sport­ing es­tate in the up­lands of Eng­land”.

Over the past decade the cou­ple, work­ing with Nat­u­ral Eng­land, have suc­cess­fully re­gen­er­ated the grouse moor on the farm, planted nearly 100,000 broadleaf trees over 250 acres, re­paired and built 1.3km of dry-stone walls, re­stored 900 acres of peat, cre­ated five new wet­land habi­tats and re-es­tab­lished black grouse.

Judges said the re­mark­able di­ver­sity of species on the farm “is un­ques­tion­ably a re­sult of an out­stand­ing blend of con­ser­va­tion and shoot­ing”. Red grouse num­bers have in­creased as have num­bers of other wild bird species, in­clud­ing black grouse, wood­cock, snipe and grey par­tridge.

The Browns were pre­sented with a cheque for £5,000 and the Purdey

Awards Shield in the gun­maker’s fa­mous Long Room on 22 Novem­ber.

In sec­ond place, win­ning the Sil­ver Award and £3,000, is Nick Zoll and the Burn­ham Thorpe Syn­di­cate in Nor­folk

(pic­tured). Judges were “ex­cep­tion­ally im­pressed” by the com­mit­ment of Zoll and his team to cre­ate a syn­di­cate shoot with a vi­able pop­u­la­tion of grey par­tridge.

The Bronze Award was pre­sented to Alas­tair Salvesen for his “ded­i­ca­tion and vi­sion” in cre­at­ing on his farm in Mid­loth­ian a grey par­tridge re­cov­ery pro­gramme.

“Purdey’s are proud to be cel­e­brat­ing the 20th an­niver­sary of the Purdey Awards this year. These awards re­veal how im­por­tant shoot­ing is to the bio­di­ver­sity of the coun­try­side,” said chair­man James Horne.

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