DESPITE the late harvest and appalling weather conditions this summer, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is urging gamekeepers, farmers and shoot managers to send in their autumn count figures for grey partridge as soon as they have been completed.

Dr Julie Ewald, a senior scientist with the trust, said: “We very much need to hear from everybody in the partridge count scheme this season, even if counts are a bit behind. Despite all the doom and gloom, we think that people will be pleasantly surprised by the number of partridges this season.”

With the 2010 biodiversity action plan target for grey partridges now approaching very rapidly, Dr Ewald explained: “We have to show that the grey partridge population is above 90,000 by 2010. One of the most accurate ways of monitoring their recovery is through the partridge count scheme and so it is vitally important that members submit their counts for this autumn as soon as they can.”

For more information on the scheme, call Neville Kingdom on 01425 651066 or e-mail nking