Developed in conjunction with the Fife GWCT local committee, Newton House is a field scale demonstration combining a range of essential grey partridge habitat features. The site provides a practical resource that highlights the year round planning and delivery required to support this iconic species. Kings has worked with the landowner, tenant farmer and GWCT senior advisor, Hugo Straker, to demonstrate best practice and provide a site for land managers to visit and learn from. Within one five acre field visitors can see the key features that make up the ideal grey partridge habitat, combining nesting, brood rearing and winter food and holding crops.
A farm scale grey partridge conservation project is underway at Balgonie, co-ordinated by the Trust. This site focuses particularly on providing sanctuary cover throughout the year to protect grey partridges and other key farmland bird species from overhead predation. Kings has provided technical input on crop selection and ongoing management. The key crop here is perennial chicory, which has been selected to provide ‘umbrella cover’ and is established with a nurse crop of brown mustard. Early signs are very promising as the initial headland strips have already brought benefit to grey partridges and a range of farmland bird species.