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The Duke of Edinburgh Memorial Challenge

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

We are thrilled that we are finally able to share details of a charity day held at Sandringham Estate that Hattiers proudly sponsored on 18 May, honouring the extraordinary legacy of HRH The Late Duke of Edinburgh’s contribution to conservation, which raised a record breaking £330,000 for the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).



The GWCT is the UK’s leading independent wildlife research charity. For more than 80 years it has worked closely with land managers resulting in ground-breaking science, including some of the longest running farmland wildlife monitoring projects in the world.


First as President and then Patron, Prince Philip’s involvement with the GWCT spanned more than half a century, reflecting a lifelong passion for conservation. Ahead of his time, His Royal Highness saw the risk to wildlife of both the evolution of agriculture and urban encroachment on the countryside.


Lord Salisbury said: "The late Duke of Edinburgh was the GWCT’s long-serving Patron and our most knowledgeable and incisive advocate. "Sandringham is where he put so many of his conservation principles into practice and we were extraordinarily lucky to be allowed to hold this event there, so appropriately, in his memory.”


The day began with guests arriving by private air charter, followed by breakfast and travel by electric Range Rovers to five different stands to shoot from around the estate. Once guests returned to base, guests were greeted with a freshly shaken Hattiers Daiquiri cocktail beside our 100% electric Series IIA Land Rover by Electrogenic, before heading into the main marquee for a sumptuous four-course luncheon. To add to the excitement, Lord Dalmeny hosted a live auction and luxury raffle which included prizes from Hattiers and a truly inspirational speech was delivered by Lord Salisbury.



Sir Jim Paice, former agriculture minister and chairman of the GWCT said: “We are honoured to have held this event at Sandringham, and hugely grateful for the funds raised, which will make a really significant contribution to the Trust’s scientific research and advisory service. "His Royal Highness The late Duke of Edinburgh knew that for wildlife conservation to work it has to fit into modern farming systems. He was a great example of a Working Conservationist because he really understood both UK agriculture and species conservation and he wanted everyone to be able to access wildlife not just those lucky enough to live near nature reserves. In this way he was a wonderful advocate of the GWCT approach. I would like to give great thanks to the organising committee His Grace The Duke of Roxburghe, The Hon. Michael Marsham, Marina Lund, Annika Purdey and Thomas van Straubenzee and our generous sponsors for making the event in his memory such a success."



As well as being responsible for several Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and shaping many of the current agri-environment schemes, GWCT developed ‘Farmer Clusters’, farmer-led groups of neighbouring farmers undertaking landscape scale conservation projects. There are now more than 200 across the UK and Prince Philip was one of the pioneers of large-scale conservation, establishing a habitat improvement initiative over 20,000 acres at Sandringham in 2001. The GWCT provided advice and monitoring services to the project, which continues to this day.


GWCT Chief Executive Teresa Dent said: "The late Duke of Edinburgh worked with GWCT scientists and advisors for many years at Sandringham, so it was such a fitting tribute to hold this event and we are incredibly grateful to all those who made it possible. "In terms of research, the Trust is probably doing more on the estate than ever including bird counts, invertebrate monitoring and comparing food availability in organic and non-organic farming systems, building knowledge that will be invaluable in efforts to restore the rest of the UK’s farmed environment."



The Hattiers team are honoured to have supported such an incredible event alongside fellow sponsors including Holland & Holland, The House of Bruar, Dukes Hill, James Purdey & Sons and Air Charter Service, raising funds for a vital cause and look forward to working more closely with GWCT in the near future on further projects.


Watch the highlights here:

Video credit: Charles Sainsbury-Plaice



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