BASC Legacy Scholarship

Curtis Mossop

Curtis Mossop

Head of pathways to shooting. Curtis grew up in the Lake District and has over 25 years’ experience shooting. Starting out as a gamekeeper on a mixed sporting estate in Perthshire, he later moved to Sparsholt college to teach game and wildlife management courses before becoming a senior lecturer at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria.

The closing date for applications to BASC’s Legacy Scholarship Programme 2020 has been extended until July 17 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The beginning of a New Year, amongst other things, marks the launch of the 2020 Legacy Scholarship which is back for its second year. Due to the generosity of members who have chosen to leave a legacy to BASC, it has created an incredibly exciting opportunity to provide support to those looking to pursue a career within the land and wildlife sector.

What does the Legacy Scholarship involve?

The scholarship programme aims to support and encourage students wishing to study land management, conservation or gamekeeping related courses. Given that 2020 is also Year of the Gamekeeper, it seems a fitting opportunity for BASC to support individuals wishing to pursue a career as a gamekeeper, or raise awareness of how gamekeepers support UK agriculture and the role they also play in conservation.

The scheme is open to any college or university student within the UK, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. There is no minimum award, but the maximum award would be £4,500 per annum for the length of the qualification or three years, whichever is the longest.

The scholarship could be used for tuition fees, accommodation and/or travel expenses or to help support the costs of acquiring personal protective equipment and study resources. There are no set parameters for projected expenditure and each application will be considered individually. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel of industry professionals to select the winners.

2019 success

The winners of the 2019 scholarship are all making good progress with their study programme. One of the winners, Alex Milroy, explained to me how he has become an official course representative since beginning in September. Using this role, he communicates the views and objectives of his peer group to the College management structure.

He said, “our main achievement during the first term has been to highlight the importance of pest and predator control and the resulting positive impacts onto biodiversity on the College estate.” It is individuals such as Alex who BASC are supporting through the scholarship programme and it is fantastic to see them progressing and developing into young ambassadors for the countryside.

My background

Having joined BASC from the education sector, I have seen first-hand the tremendous potential the future generation holds; what a tragedy it would be if the obstacle to releasing this untapped potential were financial hurdles. Young people are often labelled and tarred with the same brush with the “youth of today…” type statements, but my experience of those with a genuine interest in the countryside couldn’t be further from those stereotypes; they are committed, driven, independent and quite honestly, inspiring.

Given the relative uniqueness of these type of courses and the limited number of educational establishments offering the facilities to study them, students quite often have to travel huge distances to study their desired course; I’ve had previous students undertake a 150 mile daily round trip in order to attend, all whilst holding down a part time job to fund themselves.

The developments of curriculum content to a more holistic and conservation focus mean students could quite easily have a week studying geology, water quality, trapping legislation, woodland creation, meat hygiene, anatomy and physiology. This wide variety of course content can only help to raise high standards within out sector which is something to be celebrated.

Applications can be downloaded from the BASC website and the closing date for entrants is 17 July 2020.

BASC Legacy Funded Scholarship Programme 2020

BASC’s Legacy Funded Scholarship Programme aims to support and encourage those wishing to develop their knowledge in conservation, land management or gamekeeping. It provides financial assistance to applicants where lack of funding obstructs education and future careers.