The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is looking forward to welcoming visitors to its stand at the 2009 CLA Game Fair at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. One of the key themes of the stand is the Trust’s expanded freshwater fisheries research, based on the River Frome in Dorset.
It is widely accepted that a global decline has occurred in Atlantic salmon since the 1970s and the Trust’s fascinating catchment-based ‘natural laboratory’ on the River Frome will enable researchers to answer many of the really important questions relating to salmon and sea trout populations.
Dr Anton Ibbotson, who heads the salmon research team said, “We have developed specialist techniques for tagging individual fish and this works in conjunction with our state-of-the-art fish counting, monitoring and tag detection equipment installed on the river. So far we have tagged 40,000 salmon parr and they will provide vital data as they return to the river from the sea in the next 3 – 4 years.”
In addition to the salmon and sea trout fisheries research, education will form a major part of the Trust’s stand at the Game Fair, with emphasis placed on encouraging more people to get involved in enhancing biodiversity within their lives. Andrew Gilruth, the Trust’s director of Marketing and Membership says, “We are very keen to show how our aims and more importantly our wide-ranging research applies to everyone – land managers, farmers, shooting enthusiasts and walkers. Indeed everyone that loves the countryside should join us to ensure that future generations have the same opportunity to enjoy it too.”
The stand will have fascinating displays illustrating the very best aspects of game management and the broader aspects of wildlife conservation and research, including the Trust’s cutting-edge research into the origins of woodcock. The new woodcock study aims to gain a much clearer understanding of seasonal and regional variation of our wintering woodcock population, and how this is influenced by over-wintering migrant birds.
As usual, the Trust’s extended member’s area at the Game Fair is the best place to meet friends and enjoy fine food and convivial company. For those that are not yet members of the Trust, then this is the perfect opportunity to join up and benefit from many exclusive membership advantages, including the use of the privileged members’ area at the Game Fair.