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Date: 20th February 2018

The British Association of Shooting & Conservation met with Gamekeeping students and staff to discuss deer impact assessment and wider conservation projects intertwined within Deer Management and Gamekeeping. 

The event, which took place earlier this week at the at the Dalton Business Centre, aimed to make some of the links between course and industry more clear for the students considering career options and preparing for their synoptic exams.

The day started with a quiz to test their deer knowledge before Mike Thornley, BASC representative, went through his stalking kit bag and explained all about how to prepare for going stalking and showed the students his rifle and some targets he uses for DSC1 courses.

The group then moved onto a woodland location which saw students looking for tracks and signs to suggest that deer are present, they also had a look at a variety of different high seats and discussed how countryside recreation affects deer stalking.

Mike spoke from his previous experience as a Wildlife Ranger (Deer Manager) with the Forestry Commission and gave the students food for thought as they went deer stalking (without a rifle!) to consider whether they would take shots at some cleverly set cut out deer – considering best practice when it comes to areas busy with the public and how to manage deer numbers so that trees are protected and able to prosper without overbrowsing by deer – students then discussed how ecological survey methods can be used to monitor vegetation and deer presence.

Summing up the day, Mike spoke on a project he is involved with on a local Estate monitoring and conserving Ospreys – another great example of an important crossover between gamekeeping and conservation.

A fantastic and informative day spent with an industry specialist with a wealth of knowledge to pass on to the group of Level 3 students.

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Newton Rigg College,
CA11 0AH
01768 893400