THE Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) in Fordingbridge has been recognised for its groundbreaking work in wildlife management and conservation in Europe after winning a flagship award.

The Jan van Haaften IUGB (International Union of Game Biologists) Award for Wildlife Management in Europe was presented to the Trust at a ceremony in Montpellier, France on August 24.

Collecting the award from the GWCT were scientists Roger Draycott, Nicholas Aebischer, Julie Ewald, Ryan Burrell, Mike Short, Francis Buner, Dave Baines and Sonja Ludwig. Former GWCT scientists Dave Butler and Carlos Sánchez were also present.

Dr Julie Ewald, the head of geographical information systems at the Trust, said “It was indeed an honour for the Trust to receive this very prestigious award.

"Dr Yves Lecocq, representing the judging panel, cited the international reputation of the Trust’s research, the sustained record of that research and the direct value of that research in managing and conserving game and wildlife.

"It is particularly poignant that the Trust received the award this year, following the death of Dick Potts. At the 25th IUGB congress in 2001, both Dick and Jan van Haaften were honoured for their contribution to conservation. Those of us present to accept the Jan van Haaften award this year felt it fitting to have our photograph with the award in front of the poster Dr Nicholas Aebischer had produced for the conference on the research Dick Potts had undertaken during his life. We felt the award reflected Dick’s legacy and was an acknowledgment of the work and dedication of the GWCT research team, as well as all GWCT staff, students and volunteers.”

The Jan van Haaften Award for Wildlife Management in Europe is an accolade recognising eminent service to applied wildlife research in Europe, contributing to the best possible management and conservation.

The judging panel for the award consisted of members of the Congress Scientific Committee and the European IUGB presidents - past, acting and elect.