From 28 to 30 October 2014 site managers, landowners and wildlife and hunting organisations from across Europe will come together at Elmley National Nature Reserve (NNR) in Kent, UK to share best practice on how sustainable hunting practices can be integrated into nature conservation planning. A representative from the Finnish Wildlife Agency, Mikko Toivola, will be delivering a presentation on practical removal of small alien predator from Finnish Archipelago.
Whether the challenge is sustainable shooting of wildfowl or other game for sport, management of predators to ensure conservation success, or managing large carnivore populations in hunting areas (in mainland Europe), sustainable wildlife management is a topic that site managers are likely to encounter at some point. What’s more, there are clear benefits to co-operation between hunters and site managers: hunting can contribute to conservation efforts, whilst effective nature conservation can help to increase the availability of ‘game’ species. It is clear that there an opportunity for hunters and conservation organisations to exchange knowledge and experience with European site managers to find and deliver mutual benefits.
That is why Eurosite, in collaboration with Natural England, the Hunting Federation of Macedonia & Thrace in Greece, and Metsähallitus Natural Heritage Services, is organising this three-day workshop. The workshop will be an opportunity to share examples of successful, and not so successful, projects involving hunters and site managers, as well as to discuss future strategies for sustainable wildlife management. The deadline for registration is Monday 20 October 2014.
The workshop programme will include a series of presentations, an Interactive Information Market and working group discussions on hunters’ challenges and successes working in conservation and using hunting as a tool for management. On the second day, there will be a full-day field trip to Elmley National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Sheppey, off the north coast of Kent. Elmley is a farm owned and managed by a local farming family in close collaboration with Natural England. Elmley NNR is an important site for breeding wader populations and, in order to manage the site for the benefit of the waders, predator control has been carried out at Elmley. This has resulted in a dramatic increase in the breeding success of the wader populations. The visit to Elmley will therefore provide the workshop participants with the chance to witness first-hand the positive impact of predator control on nature conservation outcomes.
For more information, a detailed programme and conditions of registration, please see the workshop webpage