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Local family win GSC Grays sponsored award for their work with wild partridge

Two farmers who helped dwindling wild partridge numbers through a devastating year for the birds, have been rewarded for their efforts.  Peter Dowson and his son Phil, who farm at Eppleby, near Richmond, North Yorkshire have been awarded the 2012 Durham and Northern Dales Grey Partridge group trophy from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), an award sponsored by GSC Grays.  According to the GWCT, grey partridge have suffered their worst breeding season since the trust was founded in 1933, attributed to the unusually wet summer.

Peter and Phil decided to modify their farming on their 130 hectare property to ensure the bird population had the best chance of recovering.  Taking GWCT advice, they provided an autumn and winter habitat for the birds with their winter oil seed rape, potatoes and over-winter stubble.  They also provided additional food for the partridges and controlled predators during the nesting and brood rearing season.

Henrietta Appleton, an advisor from the GWCT and one of the judges, said: “As the Dowsons prove, every little bit helps, especially in difficult years such as this.”

The award was presented to Peter and Phil Dowson by Phil Scott-Priestley, Director and Head of Sporting at GSC Grays and Malise Graham, Chairman of the GWCT.

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