The Irish Fly Fishing and Game Shooting Museum was honoured to host the Irish Red Grouse Association’s summer seminar on Saturday. The subject matter of the seminar was dedicated to grouse management.
Jim Sheridan of the Field Trials Association opened the seminar and the first speaker introduced was Mr Lee McManaman who is a professional gamekeeper and has worked on many large estates across the UK. Mr Lee spoke about the grouse project he is involved in County Antrim and he explained how starting from scratch himself and his team dedicated themselves to regenerating the red grouse whose numbers in that part of the country had been decimated to just a few pairs.
Pat Warner from the National Parks and Wildlife Service spoke about the importance of communication between hunting and nature enthusiasts and the need to build bridges now and into the future.
John Leech of the Fisheries Board spoke about his group and their grouse project in the west of Ireland. He also went through their experiences (which were similar to the north of Ireland but with additional obstacles) and how they overcome problems with vermin, poachers, effects of the recession on their particular habitat etc.
Tom Dunne, secretary of the Irish Red Grouse Association concluded the seminar. Mr Dunne also opened the floor to discussion and a very lively debate ensued. Of particular note was a question raised on how pure the Irish Red Grouse was or was not and Dr Douglas Butler who is an expert in zoology articulated his opinion expeditiously in an academic but very understandable manner.
New friends were made; assistance was offered; advice and information were shared and plans were made to meet up again in the near future. Attanagh looks forward to welcoming many of their kind again.