The benefits a well-run shoot provides are many and varied.

Great sport, a source of income, employment, improved landscape and wildlife habitat are just some of the positives – and at the heart of any successful shoot is a great gamekeeper.

This prestigious competition, which offers a host of prizes including £700 in cash, aims to recognise and reward the efforts of special gamekeepers.

Today’s top keepers must strike the natural balance that protects game yet encourages wildlife.

Game keeping it real

They strive to create the best habitat for game, but see the value that can offer to other species they employ best practice on all aspects of rearing, vermin control and shoot management they actively encourage knowledge and participation in this country sport and they put their stamp on a shoot.

It’s from the ranks of the best of these keepers that we seek candidates for the title of Farmers Weekly/CLA Game Fair Gamekeeper of the Year 2008. If you know a gamekeeper worthy of the award nominate him/her without delay.

How to Nominate:

The award is open to all full and part-time employed gamekeepers in the UK. Nominations for keepers who have been put forward in other years are welcome, but previous finalists are not eligible. All nominees are expected to work to high standards and follow the Code of Good Shooting Practice.

  • Give the gamekeeper’s name and contact details, and your own.
  • Say why he/she should win the award.

Tell us as much as you can about:

  • The gamekeeper’s working methods
  • Attitude to wildlife and conservation
  • Any schemes implemented to benefit wildlife
  • Involvement, if any, with the wider issues of country sports or their promotion
  • The shoot – type, size, location, number of shoot days etc.

The first round of judging is purely on the nomination information.

The entries that have the most impact on the judges are usually from people who know the keeper and his work well, and give as much information as possible.

Don

Nominations can be made by an employer, a colleague, beater, gun, friend or relative. Gamekeepers are also welcome to nominate themselves.

The judges, who represent the CLA, National Gamekeepers’ Organisation (NGO), British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and Farmers Weekly will visit the shortlisted shoot and talk to the employers, or their agents.

Prizes are in cash:

  • £400 for the winner and £150 each for both runners-up, plus an engraved hip flask each, tickets for the CLA Game Fair, overnight hotel accommodation for two and dinner with the other finalists.
  • The Award and prizes will be presented at the CLA Game Fair (July 25-27), Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire, followed by lunch in the Members’ Enclosure.
  • The finalists will also be profiled in Farmers Weekly.

Send to: Gamekeeper of the Year 2008 Farmlife, Farmers Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS (tel 020 8652 4928)

Or email to tgwhalebay@btinternet.com

Send without delay. Final closing date April 4, 2008.