Major award given to estate for biodiversity

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THE NORFOLK estate is delighted to have won the prestigious 2010 Purdey Award for its work in restoring biodiversity in the South Downs.

The wild grey partridge which was on the point of local extinction in 2003 has recovered one hundred fold - and is now on the menu in local restaurants for the first time in many years.

The Estate has entered into a ten year recovery biodiversity plan with DEFRA and Natural England and other red listed species such as skylark, corn bunting, lapwing, linnet, and brown hare have also recovered to levels not seen since the 1960s.

Peter Knight, the Estate Manager, said these results can be enjoyed by the many walkers and bird watchers - local and from further afield - who visit regularly.

“The recovery in grey partridge numbers is providing the economic driver for restoring an eco-system which is recovering and will be sustainable for the long term.”

Alex Macdonald the project manager from Natural England added: “The HLS agreement on the Norfolk Estate is an excellent example of how modern farming and shooting can be integrated with stewardship of the countryside.

“In addition to providing superb habitat for a whole suite of farmland species the scheme also includes parkland, chalk grassland, wet grassland, and ancient monuments.”