Conference will focus on the best way forward for nature

Professor Nick Sotherton

Professor Nick Sotherton

First published in News
Last updated

SCIENTISTS, politicians, conservationists and farmers will be debating how to bring about a dramatic wildlife revival in the next six years at a conference organised by a Hampshire-based charity.

Challenges posed by the reform of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy will be discussed at the event, which is being organised by the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), which has its headquarters at Fordingbridge in the New Forest.

Professor Nick Sotherton, the GWCT’s director of research, said that in order to bring about a change in the fortunes of wildlife in this country, we will have to achieve far more for less money.

He added: “To make the next generation of agri-environment schemes work more effectively, we need to refine our research and its delivery to get a ‘bigger bang for our buck’.

“It is therefore vital that conservationists, politicians and scientists work collectively to achieve dramatic improvements in wildlife recovery.”

The most recent report to study the status of wildlife in this country, ‘State of Nature’, showed that 60 per cent of the species studied had suffered declines over the last 50 years.

The GWCT’s research conference will present the results and highlights of more than 40 years of research and will show how the work to date has helped drive existing agri-environment schemes.

Professor Sotherton said that the GWCT’s research has been pivotal in developing innovative and workable solutions for reviving a range of wildlife such as wild grey partridges, brown hare and water voles.

Former environment minister Richard Benyon MP will officially open the conference with a keynote speech.

* The conference will take place at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Tuesday, May 13.

Places cost £45 and can be booked on 01425 651025 or at gwct.org.uk.

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