RESEARCHERS at the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust is calling on East Lancashire residents to record the number of wild grey partridges they see this spring.

The trust has also said that it is hoping for a warm summer this year to repeat the breeding success of 2014, which saw an 18 per cent increase in grey partridges.


The 2014 autumn counts revealed that that the total number of grey partridges recorded in its Partridge Count Scheme increased by 4,730 birds to a total of 33,250 birds across the country.

The scheme recorded the highest average density of any region in the north in 2014, up by 25 per cent compared to 2013.

According to the trust more than 1,000 farmers and gamekeepers, including in East Lancashire, are putting their combined weight behind saving the species.

The RSPB have given the grey partridge ‘red status’ indicating that it is a fast-declining farmland bird.

Dr Roger Draycott, from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, said: “For the first time in several years we had excellent summer weather during the peak hatching season for grey partridge chicks.

“Where farmers and keepers had put in place a good bundle of management measures, we are witnessing a fantastic turn-around in numbers in most regions of the UK, which was reflected in the 2014 Partridge Count Scheme autumn count data.

“Everyone with an interest in wild grey partridges should aim to build upon these good years in order to lessen the impact of poor years such as in 2012 when the wet summer conditions were catastrophic for young partridge chicks.

“We have demonstrated that grey partridge recovery is achievable and we do need more farms, shoots and estates involved in partridge conservation as well as counting their birds each spring and autumn.”