The 2015 Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation have opened for entries! The awards have been held annually since 1999 and celebrate some of the best game conservation projects which can be found across the United Kingdom. They see judges examine shoot and habitat improvement projects every year, in an effort to determine which are truly outstanding and doing the most to improve the environments in question — giving them the recognition and reward deserved. This year that reward is set to be handed out at a glitzy Awards ceremony held in Mayfair in November. With few other awards recognising conservation work in shooting ,the awards are seen as the conservation world’s Oscars by some, and offer reward and recognition to those involved in the world of shoot management and conservation. Award winners will already have had the satisfaction of seeing their efforts achieve outstanding results in improving game bird habitats and the biodiversity of their land, but the awards are still prized by many past winners. Not only is there a great deal of personal satisfaction in winning an award, but the publicity accorded to the Purdey Award winners helps provide a boost for their work. The organisers of the competition say their contest demonstrates how the UK is home to a wide diversity of projects and geographic locations, and also that the time and money invested by shoots in game conservation work has multiple benefits for other species of flora and fauna — as well as game birds. The awards are open to any size or type of shoot in the country, and nominations can be made by shoot owners, tenants, keepers, syndicates, farm shoots, estates and wildfowling clubs. A £12,500 prize fund will be shared between four winning projects, which will be chosen by a panel of experts later in the year. To find out more about the awards visit the website. If you want to get out and about and help any conservation projects near you you’ll probably need some sturdy shooting boots or a pair of wellington boots.