Colchester landowner Jonathan Minter celebrates GWCT conservation accolade as farm’s grey partridge numbers soar
- Credit: Archant
A conservation-minded landowner has scooped a coveted regional award for his efforts to revive grey partridge populations on his farm.
Jonathan Minter of Rivers Hall Estate, Boxted, near Colchester, along with his gamekeeper, Robert Graves, were delighted after lifting the East Anglian Partridge trophy as the award celebrated its tenth year.
“We started seven years ago and we both share a passion for the grey partridge,” he explained.
Having visited a friend’s farm where work was being done to help them, they decided they must adopt measures on their 1100 acre, mainly arable operation, where they grow barley, wheat, sugar beet, onions, potatoes and also grow cricket bat willows. Bird numbers now stand at around 150 to 180.
“We have seen steadily growing numbers through Robert’s hard work,” he said. They were “absolutely over the moon” to have been selected as finalists, he added. “It’s one third commitment, one third hard work and one third luck.”
You may also want to watch:
Runner-up was fellow finalist Adam Steed, who runs a shoot at Red House Farms, Bacton, which is owned by David Black & Son, and managed on the arable side by his father, Roger Steed. Adam runs the shoot in his spare time, while working as a PE teacher, and had helped implement a number of conservation measures to boost partridge populations on the farm.
The award event, organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and supported by sponsors Castleacre Insurance Services Ltd, was hosted by last year’s winner, Chris Wilson, owner of Frederick Hiam Farms Ltd. He and head gamekeeper, Richard Gould, showed visitors around Manor Farm, Ixworth Thorpe, near Bury St Edmunds, where conservation efforts have helped not only grey partridge populations, but also other species.
- 1 Married Matt Hancock accused of affair after he is pictured kissing aide
- 2 'We're working tirelessly... I'm hopeful of new signings fairly shortly' - Town CEO Ashton on transfers
- 3 Ipswich home transformed on BBC's Homes Under the Hammer
- 4 Sam Smith spotted in Suffolk - and could be recording a new album
- 5 Town considering move for Birmingham striker Cosgrove
- 6 Ipswich Town's 2021/22 League One fixtures revealed as Blues start at home
- 7 Six senior players - including Downes - will start pre-season with Under-23s
- 8 Police unlock county lines drug dealer's phone with first guess at password
- 9 Man arrested after more than 80 vehicles checked on day of action
- 10 Ipswich insurance broker snapped up by London firm
They explained how they had integrated the farming, game and wildlife conservation on the estate, while Roger Draycott, head of GWCT Advisory, updated guests on the latest GWCT partridge research and advisory issues.
He was able to tell them that grey populations looked to be on the up once again, after some setbacks in recent years.
Both of the finalists would have been “very, very deserved winners”, he said.