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To many, the gamekeeper is an anachronism from the Victorian era: an indiscriminate destroyer of wildlife, providing sport for a privileged few. In the case of the modern gamekeeper, nothing could be further from the truth. Today, there are some 5,000 full-time gamekeepers employed in the UK. In addition, there are many who spend their leisure time and money, rearing game and maintaining habitats on their own small shoots.

While today’s gamekeepers are still responsible for the husbandry of both reared and wild game for sporting shooting, they are also land managers. Their skills play an important part in shaping the countryside in both upland and lowland areas.

A survey conducted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, the gamekeepers’ national representative body, showed that gamekeepers manage around 7.3 million hectares of land in the UK – an area almost the size of Scotland. The gamekeeper works closely with the farm manager and forester to arrive at estate management policies which are economically viable whilst at the same time conserving both game and wildlife.




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