Career training not a game for student keeper

Ryan Taylor, winner of the Beldam Scholarship at Newton Rigg College where he is studying countryside management.
Ryan Taylor, winner of the Beldam Scholarship at Newton Rigg College where he is studying countryside management.

Following in the family gamekeeping tradition has led a north Northumberland student to success in being selected for a prestigious award.

Ryan Taylor has been chosen to receive The Beldam Scholarship awarded through the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Educational Trust.

The 17-year-old is in the first year of his Level 3 Diploma in countryside management at Newton Rigg College and his aim is to work in the industry. His grandfather is a retired gamekeeper and his father is head keeper at the Swinton Estate in Yorkshire.

“My focus is to become a grouse keeper because I feel that moorland in Britain is something particularly special and is well worth conserving, as well as my love for the shooting community,” said Ryan.

“I want to gain as much experience as possible and be the best gamekeeper I can possibly be.”

Ryan, from Alnwick, plans to use his bursary to further his studies at Newton Rigg, the only college in the country with its own moorland.It will assist with his additional qualifications in all-terrain vehicle training, shotgun loading and game-meat hygiene.

The scholarship will also benefit the college’s first year game and wildlife management work-based learning students, with support towards the cost of a one-day snaring and trapping course.

This includes both theory and practical elements and is a legal requirement for Scottish gamekeepers and is ‘good practice’ for gamekeepers in England and Wales.

The course will be delivered by Austin Weldon from The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.