A fantastic Jimmy Shuttlewood one of our NYMMO Gamekeepers takes the lead in this short film explaining all about why we burn heather, the importance of it and why it is crucial for this to be done in a controlled manner at specific times of the year.
Enjoy the film and please encourage others to watch it too, we’re really hoping it will educate people as to how and why we do things.
This is the first of hopefully many films highlighting different jobs within the gamekeepers role.
The Gift Of Game reached The Kings Centre last night, a community church project in Darlington.
Pheasants were kindly supplied from local estates in the NYMMO area which enabled Falconer Tori Goodall (Walworth Castle Birds of Prey) and assistant John Cavana to prepare, cook and serve up a fab warm curry and rice meal which fed around 40 people.
The Kings Centre not only feeds the people from the streets of Darlington but they also run a food bank, which was glad to receive several of the Pheasant ready meals kindly donated by Wild and Game.
The centre co-ordinator, Liz says “It’s a fantastic gift to receive“.
A massive well done and thank you to Tori and John, we are now looking for more people to get in on these evenings, what can anyone else do?
The North York Moors received a small covering of snow last night and this morning the Game Keepers were out using it to their advantage to trace/track foxes.
Foxes are one of the main predators to all the ground nesting birds, chicks and eggs. The Red Grouse benefit greatly from the predator control undertaken by the gamekeepers but so do many other birds including Curlew, Golden Plover, Ring Ouzel, Merlin and Lapwings, so this predator control is helping the population of many of these Red Listed species too.
The Game Keepers track/trace and follow the foxes footprints in the snow to see where they live, hunt and sleep, sometimes this can take only minutes but more than often it is an all day job covering many miles. Foxes are very heavy sleepers and it is not unusual to actually walk up to foxes sleeping in the heather as they do not all live underground.
Many keepers also have terrier dogs to assist them in this method of predator control, if the footprints lead to a hole the terrier will be put down the hole, this will hopefully cause the fox to bolt out. The Game Keepers outside the hole can then immediately shoot the fox when it surfaces and then humanely despatch. This is a legal act and an essential part of Moorland management.
Having endured a couple of weeks of quite rainy weather on the North York Moors it is enjoyable this week to get back to some frosty mornings and clear days. So back out onto the moors it is as we go to make the most of the weather and get some more burning done.
And for anyone who doesn’t know the why’s and wherefores about burning then keep your eyes peeled as our very own Jimmy Shuttlewood takes the lead in our first NYMMO film explaining it all.
NYMMO was created in 2015 by gamekeepers to help promote the benefits of managed Moorland.
However NYMMO is not just about the gamekeepers and last night it was the turn for the ladies to shine, with one of the estates house staff Anne-Marie and Becca taking the lead. They took their catering skills to new limits, cooking 30 pheasants to make two massive desperate Dan pies to feed the guests at the Columba project, a church drop-in centre in Middlesbrough.
The pheasant was kindly donated by local estates and so this cut down on the food miles and the need for plastic packaging. The hot meal was enjoyed by around 50 people and our two ladies have been asked to do more cooking for this very worthy cause.
On top of the warm food cooked up and served last night, Wild & Game have very kindly supplied Grouse, Pheasant and Partridge ready meals that have been taken by the Columba project as part of their outreach assistance they offer.
Last night was the first evening of this kind and we are extremely humbled and proud of the support we have been given by Wild & Game and our local estates. We already have further evenings similar to this planned over the coming weeks and with continuing support we can hopefully look to carry this project on throughout 2019.
A massive thank you to the National Gamekeepers Organisation Educational Trust for their kind donation of taxidermy for all the Moorland groups to utilise.
NYMMO is currently one of six moorland groups in England, if you haven’t already checked out the others then please do so and show your support for all the good work that we are doing. Search for Forest of Bowland, Nidderdale, North Pennines, Peak District or Yorkshire Dales Moorland Groups to find much more interesting facts and events.
Taxidermy is a vital education tool used by all the Moorland Group, having a real-life bird or animal in front of you makes so much more of a lasting memory than a photo. It gives an accurate size and colour of a species and provides the appearance of what it would look like in the wild.
The feedback we have received from the teachers who have been involved in the schools education days is that our taxidermy birds are one of the things that the children talked about most after their visits.