The Calmsden estate in “Cotswold Grey Partridge Trophy” nod
Mark Tufnell, owner of the Calmsden estate near Cirencester, has always been crazy about his grey partridges. He was the driving force behind setting up the Cotswold grey partridge group back in the noughties, becoming chairman of the group and has now been awarded a prestigious trophy for his commitment to wild grey partridge conservation.
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) teamed up with Mark to help the grey partridge because it has declined nationally by around 92%. Together, we wanted to spread the word within the Cotswolds about ways to reverse the decline of this iconic farmland bird.
After all his hard work, it was no surprise when he was awarded the group’s trophy in 2008; given to the person/estate that had done the most for grey partridge conservation during that year. In the early days, the group was sponsored by the investment company that Mark’s wife, Jane worked for – Ruffer LLP. However, once Jane left the company, Mark and Jane decided to sponsor the group through their own joint farm business – Calmsden Farms. Their kind sponsorship continues to this day.
The farmland on Calmsden has always held greys, but perhaps the biggest influence on the wellbeing of these iconic birds was the arrival in 2014 of gamekeeper Will Pratt. He inherited just seven pairs that year.