Royston Grey Partridge Recovery Project

Royston Grey Partridge Recovery Project

Project Animal(s) : Grey Partridge
Project Category : Birds
Project Region : Europe
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

The Grey Partridge Recovery Project ran from 2002 to 2010 on area of rolling farmland near Royston, Hertfordshire. As lead partner for the grey partridge under the UK government’s Biodiversity Action Plan, we established the project to convince land managers that restoring numbers of wild grey partridges is possible in a modern farming environment. To demonstrate how this could be achieved by implementing our management recommendations, we set a target spring density of 18.6 pairs per 100ha – whilst maintaining profitable farming.

In order to reach this target on our 1,000ha demonstration area, three key types of management were undertaken:

  • Control of partridge predators, including egg predators
  • Habitat improvement and creation, designed to provide nesting, brood rearing and winter cover
  • Supplementary feeding in both summer and winter

Intensive grey partridge counts were carried out in March (spring pair counts) and just after harvest (autumn counts) across the demonstration area, recording the sex of all grey partridge adults as well as the number of young birds present in each covey in the autumn. In addition, we also counted an adjacent 1,000ha reference area where there was no intensive predation control or habitat management directed specifically at partridges. This reference area provided a comparison for how our management compared relative to farmland in general

Project Agency : Game and Wildlife Conservation trust

Project Agency Contact :