On Thursday 6th March the High Weald Area for Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Unit held a “Woodland Game Management” Seminar at Flimwell, East Sussex. The event was supported and attended by both Justin Clarke from BASC South East, and Mike Swan from the GWCT.

The day started with Mr Jason Lavender, Co-Director of the High Weald AONB unit welcoming everyone. Jason spoke about the importance of shooting to the area, explaining that it was forestry, farming and field sports that had shaped the surrounding landscape. This was followed by a short presentation by Mike Swan who spoke about a number of topics including release pens, and managing woodland for game and other wildlife.

Following on from this around 22 attendees were taken to a nearby shoot, where a new release pen had been constructed in line with best practice. Although the sporting rights of the woodland are owned by the syndicate, the freehold is held separately by a charitable trust and so other interests such as wildlife conservation, woodland management, and woodland archaeology as well as game have to be considered. This typified the ethos of the day and clearly demonstrated that when shooting worked alongside other organisations, there was often much common ground to be found which could also help improve a shoot.

Justin Clarke, South East regional officer said “The day was a great success and gave us a chance to meet with both members and non-members alike. It also clearly showcased the positive influence that shooting has on conservation. The cooperation that exists between the shoot and the other organisations involved draws a direct comparison with that of the BASC green shoots initiative”. Attendee’s included wildlife trusts, foresters, keepers, stalkers, and local shoot members from the surrounding area.

The High Weald AONB unit intends to run similar events later in the year. For further details contact: High Weald AONB Unit, Tel: 01580 879500 Email: info@highweald.org

To obtain a free copy of the “Code of Good Shooting Practice” contact the South East regional office on 01306 631378 or email Justin Clarke

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