September 18, 2008

Farmers Help Grey Partridge Revival Efforts

East Yorks: More farmers and landowners are joining an ambitious venture to protect threatened birds.

Dozens of farmers have joined the Yorkshire Grey Partridge Recovery Group, which was launched at Dalton Estate, near Beverley.

The Game Conservancy Trust, which set up the group, is hoping this year will see an even greater revival in the fortunes of the wild grey partridge.

The species has suffered an 86 per cent decline in the past 25 years, but the trust is confident this can be reversed.

It is spearheading the campaign to encourage farmers to create suitable conditions.

John Gatenby, York East National Farmers' Union (NFU) chairman, said a lot of farmers joined the new venture last year and more had come on board this year.

He said: "Many of our members had already been carrying out conservation work on their farms, especially to protect and encourage the grey partridge.

"It is particular species that many wildlife groups are concerned about, and I hope this will lead to East Yorkshire becoming a stronghold for them."

The trust also runs a scheme that tracks birds and the breeding success of partridges in each region.

Peter Thompson, trust biodiversity officer, said there were probably fewer than 5,000 grey partridges in the Yorkshire region.

He said: "We are very pleased to get more people involved in managing the land."

For more details, call Lynda Ferguson on (01425) 651013 or e- mail [email protected]

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