CLA Launches Search for the Custodians of the ‘Keeper’s Craft’

17 February 2014

The popular image of the Game Keeper is steeped in mystery and ancient traditions – but the reality is that modern gamekeepers need to have environmental and ecological skills and a good understanding of modern technology as well as a deep-rooted understanding of the countryside and its wildlife.

Despite being one of the most traditional jobs in the countryside, the modern gamekeeper’s role is demanding and highly specialised at the same time. The management of game is just one aspect of a role that, today it also incorporates the latest thinking in agricultural, veterinary and environmental practices.

But while traditional skills and hands on knowledge may have disappeared from many rural jobs – they remain an essential part of the work of the game keeper where the craft of the countryside remains a vital tool in the box.

The custodians of that knowledge have often been in the job all their lives – many following in their father’s footsteps – and now the CLA is searching for them to offer them their day in the limelight.

The CLA Long Service Awards are a regular – and long standing - feature of The CLA Game Fair and provide an annual opportunity to recognise the sort of dedication a relatively small band of people have given to the countryside. The Awards are presented to Gamekeepers who have clocked up at least 40 years service on not more than five estates, and provide public recognition of their service to the countryside.

The presentations will take place on the first day of this year’s CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.

Potential candidates for the awards must be nominated by an employer.

Further details on the CLA Long Service Awards and how to nominate an individual can be obtained from the CLA Game Fair team on 02072 019522  or


  • The 2014 CLA Game Fair will be held at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, from Friday 18 – Sunday 20  July.
  • The CLA Game Fair is the national countryside event and the world’s largest country sport event
  • For full details on The CLA Game Fair please visit the website