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Support grey partridges at the great Yorkshire show

[Friday 23 June 2006]

VISITORS to next months Great Yorkshire Show will be given the chance to take part in a nationwide initiative aimed at establishing an accurate picture of the state of one the British countryside's traditional but increasingly threatened bird species.

Wildlife and conservation research charity, The Game Conservancy Trust, will be promoting its Partridge Count Scheme at the Harrogate Showground from the 11th - 13th July.

grey partridge
Game Conservancy Trust's Partridge Count Scheme comes
to the Great Yorkshire Show
Photo: Peter Thompson/The Game Conservancy Trust

Sponsors, Smiths Gore, have invited the Trust to share their stand at the show to promote the count scheme ahead of the launch of a grey partridge group in Yorkshire in 2007.

The grey partridge is one of Britain's truly indigenous species, having been recorded as far back as the Iron Age. But in the past 30 years its population has plummeted from over a million pairs in Edwardian times.

The Game Conservancy Trust has been researching the decline and has established that many modern farming practices are unsuited to partridge survival.

In an effort to increase partridge numbers, the Government appointed the Trust as lead partner for the Grey Partridge Biodiversity Action Plan, and from there the Trust has set up the Partridge Count Scheme where farmers or land owners can count the partridges on their land and receive fact sheets and newsletters.

Together with the new agri-environment schemes that are now on offer, the Trust aims show how appropriate habitat management can help reverse the decline of this iconic bird.

The count is open to farmers, landowners, game keepers and anyone with agreed access to land, and participants have to record sightings of the grey partridge twice a year. It is hoped the results will give a clearer indication of whether the species is breeding successfully, as well as identifying areas of the country where further efforts are required to re-introduce the bird.

To join in and 'help save the grey', simply visit the Smiths Gore stand (No: 204) at the Great Yorkshire Show. There will be a range of free partridge leaflets, fact sheets, details on how to join the count scheme and the latest ID guide showing the top eight vital insects that provide food for farmland chicks.

For more details on the Partridge Count Scheme, contact Neville Kingdon on 01425 651066 or visit www.gct.org.uk/partridge

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