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Charity bid to halt partridge’s decline
A FORDINGBRIDGE charity is holding a recovery course for wild grey partridges in a bid to halt their decline.
The bird used to be very common and flourished on arable farmland across the country.
But in the past 40 years its numbers have plummeted by more than 80 per cent and research charity the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) says they have become locally extinct in many areas.
The trust is holding a one-day training course at its headquarters on November 7, based on a three-year research study that investigated the most effective methods of re-establishing a partridge population.
Dr Francis Buner, the GWCT scientist who led the research project and is part of the training team, said: “Grey partridges suffered a catastrophic breeding season last year because of the appallingly wet summer.
“As a consequence, the need to re-establish new populations is crucial if we are to save this bird, particularly as there are now huge tracts of our countryside that no longer holds grey partridges.”
He added: “Once the right habitats have been created and feeding and predator control are being maintained, we feel confident that many people will be able to have wild partridges on their land again. This would be a fantastic achievement for future generations.”
The day will be run by Roger Draycott and Francis Buner from the trust as well as Dr David Butler, a gamebird biologist from Perdix Wildlife, which specialises in rearing grey partridges for re-introduction programmes.
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