BASC chairman Peter Glenser has praised the work of those involved in the Lindisfarne wildfowling scheme after it landed bronze in the prestigious 2017 Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation at a ceremony in London last night.
The wildfowling at Lindisfarne is a unique scheme between BASC North, Natural England and the wildfowlers’ management group, which is funded by Natural England.
BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “BASC is delighted that national recognition has been given to the scheme at Lindisfarne.
“The Purdey Awards recognise the best game conservation projects to be found across the country.
“Everybody involved in the Lindisfarne scheme should be proud of their work. This is fantastic news for BASC, for wildfowling and for conservation.”
Duncan Thomas, BASC North director, said: “The Lindisfarne scheme is a marvellous collaboration of effort from wildfowlers, Natural England and BASC. It clearly evidences the important links between shooting sports and conservation. Very well done to BASC North regional officer Gareth Dockerty for pulling this together.”
The Duke of Wellington, who is chairman of the awards judging panel, announced the winners and farmer, countryside broadcaster and TV personality Adam Henson presented them.
A spokesperson for Purdey said: “The judging panel considered Lindisfarne to be a quite exceptional wildfowling scheme, not just for its size, but also for taking place at one of the UK’s largest and best known nature reserves, with strong public access and attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year and for the fact that it is wholly sustainable.
“The Lindisfarne wildfowling scheme operates over 750 hectares of the total area of 3,500 hectares, and is run by a dedicated team of highly knowledgeable and experienced wildfowlers and conservators. Judges were unanimous in their wish to give recognition for this outstanding work.”
Natural England contract BASC to provide a dedicated warden and to undertake the administration of permits. The wildfowling warden supports NNR staff in ensuring continued best practice as well as providing additional bird counts of quarry and non-quarry species.
The awards application was based on the valuable data provided by the wildfowlers and the warden and how that becomes part of the annual wildfowling report produced by BASC. This, in turn, provides evidence for the on-going sustainable management of wildfowling at Lindisfarne NNR.
It also featured duck nesting tubes made by Newton Rigg college students and future plans to link BASC Young Shots with conservation tasks on the reserve.