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Helens Blog

May - May 2, 2024

"Doing the Right Thing"

May has arrived in actual sunshine for many and all the more welcome for some blue sky and warmth.

Birds are sitting everywhere both ground nesting birds and song birds in woods and hedgerow whilst keepers are working hard to keep the predators at bay; not only for pheasants, partridge and grouse but all ground nesting birds. Deer control is the spotlight especially in Scotland where our deer stalkers are reeling from further legislation which goes against their own codes of conduct in treating deer with respect. On our rivers another battle to preserve Atlantic salmon and conditions in which they thrive. All of which is under threat but we remain resolute in our work to preserve and protect – “Keeping the Balance” has never been more pertinent.

Golden Plover

“Doing the right thing” is a maxim many of us live by both in our professional lives and private lives and is not always easy to achieve. However, I have seen many examples in meetings up and down the country this Spring, where keepers, stalkers and ghillies have demonstrated intimate knowledge of their habitat and the wildlife and fauna thereof, whether on the hill, lowground, or river. I have seen a dignified but determined defence of “doing the right thing” and supporting each other through this prolonged and frankly depressing period of wet weather in the countryside from farmers and stalkers/keepers/ghillies alike.

2024 for the Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust is going to be busy as we go forward into attending events throughout the country, continuing the “Check in with a Mate”, and help more people in their need. We can support more people now with new exciting resources in the appointment of Gillian Scott for housing and benefit needs, our fantastic nurse team in providing health support and promoting good health through various social media channels as well as face to face and provision of training for basic emergency CPR as well as continuing Stag and Hind training for mental health awareness and communication skills. Don’t forget too Jamie’s Helpline for anything at all which is affecting you. We know that redundancy has hit many this year and its not always easy to gain other positions with so many variables to consider for the family, in the job. Our training grants are available so don’t be afraid to ask; we know upskilling is key as well as considering other jobs outside keepering for various reasons on occasion.

Please help us by sending suggestions on venues or sharing events – for our health video, a few minutes for the CPR demonstrations or discussions on shotgun and firearms, training and education, planning for the future – we can join existing events or set up an evening. Don’t forget getting together is important in sharing convivial social events as keepers or as a family. Our recent get together in the Midlands was a prime example and can be circulated around the country with your help.

Take care all and we hope to see many of you around the country as we go through 2024. Its galloping forward already isn’t it.


Uploaded by GWT: May 2, 2024
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