The Knowledge Every Gun's Guide to Conservation from The GWCT

Published end of June 2018
Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust

It is a guide for both experienced Shots and people starting out with no understanding of the background to shooting and is designed to give Guns the right questions to ask their own shoots or the ones they visit or buy days from to discover the level of quality and encourage the change we all want to see. (Example questions are included at the end of each chapter).

Whether you're new to shooting, a seasoned gun or just keen to learn more about shooting and the way the British countryside is managed, The Knowledge is for you. Featuring over 200 pages of easy-to-read questions and answers such as:
How do you define a wild pheasant?
Why are grey partridges on the quarry list when they are in national decline?
Why do gamebirds need supplementary food?
Does predation control have wider conservation benefits?
What UK habitats do woodcock prefer?
What should Guns look out for on a shoot day?

The Knowledge draws on over 150 scientific publications to provide you with a robust introduction into quarry species, the management of both habitat and predators and all the latest issues surrounding shooting and conservation. You will also learn key information about a typical days shooting from important health & safety tips to guidance on game handling and security.

This book fills the conservation gap in the existing shooting guide library. It explains some of what goes on behind the scenes the rest of the year outside shoot days, and reveals the ways in which a gamekeeper is a working conservationist, whose job involves much more than looking after gamebirds. It is focused on improving standards in released bird shooting and encouraging wild game management, hence the Code of Good Shooting Practice is quoted throughout.

It provides an introduction to wild grey partridge conservation as a key part of our preserving our shooting and countryside heritage and an indicator of the health of the farmland ecology. It also acts as a guide to some of the most controversial issues of the day affecting shooting, e.g. lead shot and use of medication in game rearing and gives an account of the law relevant to a Guns experience of a shoot day. Contrary to the idea that shooting is unregulated, it is governed by a vast amount of legislation covering every aspect of shoot management.

Introduction and welcome
Red-legged partridge
Grey partridge
Habitat management
Suitable habitat: the right environment
Foraging habitat: for food
Winter cover crops: for shelter
Nesting cover: for safe nest sites
Woodland management
Supplementary feeding
Predation control
Other quarry species to look out for
Lead ammunition
Game as food
Diseases and medication
Research and monitoring
What Guns need to know on shoot day
Health and safety
Quarry, predator and pest species
Range and distance
Retrieval and handling of game
Shooting and the public
Certification and permission
Shooting and game management glossary

I started reading The Knowledge at work at half eight in the morning and didnt put it down until lunchtime. In some ways I got very little done that day but I learnt a huge amount. It is an indispensable read for anyone involved in shooting today.
Patrick Galbraith Editor, Shooting Times Magazine

I would give this book to every person that wants to start game shooting. I would also put it in the Christmas stocking of everybody that already shoots. I learned a lot from reading it. Most Guns will do the same.
Professor Simon Denny, Executive Dean of Research, Impact & Enterprise, University of Northampton

A really good book. A must read for everyone, but especially anyone who shoots game and particularly new guns, to ensure they understand the conservation benefits of shooting. My copy will certainly be on display and available for all the guns to read this coming season! Thank you GWCT, the work you do is brilliant!
Ms. M GWCT Member

A very interesting and useful book. Id recommend it without hesitation to anybody interested in conservation, shooting or the great British countryside in general.
Mr. N GWCT Member

I bought this for my daughter who is a gamekeeping student at Newton Rigg college. It covers so much of the course material that Im sure it will be recommended reading in future. And of course I have read it cover to cover before handing it over.
Mr. T GWCT Customer

Excellent publication, clear plain English giving all involved in shooting much science backed knowledge to support our sport. Great work GWCT.
Mr. G GWCT Member

Very informative and nicely set out. A must for all guns. Thank you.
Mr. S GWCT Member

This book is attractively produced with good layout and illustrations and is reasonably priced for its size and amount of content.
Mark Avery Former RSPB Director of Conservation

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