Ripley Food visited by BASC

Ripley Food department had an interesting visit from BASC - The British Association for Shooting and Conservation Regional Officer Gavin Howe and Volunteer Malcolm Kendall on Monday 18th March.

Gavin gave an in-depth presentation to Year 10 GCSE pupils on the conservation aspects of wild game, in particular, deer. He also covered identification of gamebirds, the laws and rules around hunting licences and seasons and the protection of any particular species. Conservation and health and safety played a large part in his discussion, focussing on reasons for culling and control, those species considered to be pests and the reasons why.

When talking about deer, Gavin went into depth on the practicality of stalking, the formal qualifications required and the role DEFRA has to play in animal welfare.

As the pair had brought with them a small deer carcass, the group were able to observe and in some cases get hands-on as Malcolm demonstrated his butchery skills. The pupils and staff were surprised by the conservation elements and comparisons with other meat consumption and costs in the UK and whilst some looked a little squeamishly at the butchery demo, the opportunity to cook and taste the venison themselves was a highlight, which they voluntarily chose to participate in.

We would like to thank Gavin and Malcolm for so generously giving up their time and resources to help educate our young people in countryside conservation and to raise awareness of food sources that they may not have come across before.