What is Year of the Gamekeeper?

2020 is the Year of the Gamekeeper. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of gamekeepers; what they do, how they support UK agriculture and the role they play in conservation.

Led by the Gamekeepers Welfare Trust (GWT), BASC will be attempting to fundraise £220,000 by the end of 2020. This funding provides support to gamekeepers, stalkers, ghillies and their families in times of hardship, ill health and retirement.

Each month BASC will profiling a UK gamekeeper and their story.

Show your support to UK gamekeepers by making a donation to the Year of the Gamekeeper.

Donate here

Gamekeeper of the Month – August

Our next Gamekeeper of the Month is head keeper Ian Sleightholm from Bolton Castle estate. Ian talks about the reasons behind his decision to become a keeper, what he loves about his profession the most and why he would encourage the young generation to consider a career in gamekeeping.

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Gamekeeper of the Month – July

Raymond is the first gamekeeper to be employed by The Kennel Club. He is responsible for turning Emblehope and Burngrange Estate into a “training centre of excellence for working dogs”.

Read more

Gamekeeper of the Month – March

Richard is the senior beatkeeper at Crag Estate and coordinator of the Peak District Moorland Group. He has grown up in fieldsports and has a passion for the countryside.

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Gamekeeper of the Month – January

Liam is the headkeeper at Millichope Park and national chairman of the National Gamekeepers Organisation. He has a lifetime of experience as a gamekeeper and a passion for the countryside, particularly protecting the unique species in South Shropshire.

Read more


New counselling service is now available

Health is paramount to working in any physically demanding job, however, many forget that mental health is equally important. The serious impact mental ill health can have on individual gamekeepers and their families has caused alarm recently. The Gamekeepers Welfare Trust (GWT) supports all gamekeepers, stalkers and their families whenever help is needed.

In June 2020, the GWT gamekeeping survey confirmed the need for further services to help alleviate stress and promote mental health wellbeing within the community. This view was further reinforced by the excellent survey published by the Scottish Government which involved members of the SGA, BASC and Moorland Groups. Click here to read more about the survey.

In response, from 1 December 2020, counselling services, as well as resilience training and associated support will be available to all gamekeepers, stalkers or ghillies regardless of which association they belong to. GWT’s Jamie’s Helpline, dedicated to help those who are struggling to cope, will also be available for all to use. It is accessible and reachable at any time and calls are free from any phone.

The counselling services are confidential and add to a range of support services the GWT offers all over the UK.

Helen Benson, GWT Chief Executive said: “I am absolutely delighted we are now able to offer the next step in support for individuals in our community who need our help and support. This is an important move forward to be able to provide a completely holistic service for our gamekeepers and their families.”

To contact the GWT you can send them an email or phone 01677 470 180.

The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust “ladies pack”

The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust has launched a free “ladies packs” designed for the partners of gamekeepers.

This pack aims to support those who work independently to support gamekeepers; looking after children and upholding many jobs during the shooting season or stalking season.

In some instances, gamekeeper families will regularly have to relocate while still supporting their partners in a stressful environment with long hours and often few holidays.  

The packs contain support and information on physical and mental health, and where to find help when required on a variety of issues which can affect both the keeper, partner and family.

The packs are free and can be ordered online here www.thegamekeeperswelfaretrust.com.

For more information, you can contact GWT on enquiries@thegamekeeperswelfaretrust.com or 01677 470180.

Background image by Nick Ridley

Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust STAG Training Course

BASC Member get a Member

If you introduce a friend to BASC, you could each win a gun worth around £2,000 in our annual Member Get A Member free prize draw.