Northumberland teenager wins scholarship to help studies to become a gamekeeper

Ryan Taylor from Northumberland is hoping to follow a family tradition by working as a gamekeeper

Ryan Taylor
Ryan Taylor

A teenager from Northumberland has received a prestigious award that will help him follow a family tradition.

Ryan Taylor, a 17-year-old from Northumberland, has been chosen to receive The Beldam Scholarship from the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation Educational Trust to support his studies at Newton Rigg College in Cumbria.

Ryan is in the first year of his Level 3 Diploma in Countryside Management and his aim is to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, a retired gamekeeper, and his father, who is head keeper at the Swinton Estate in Yorkshire.

He said: “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.

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

Ryan plans to use his bursary to further his studies at Newton Rigg College, the only educational establishment 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.

Course leader, Derrick Byas, said: “It is very thorough and explains to learners their responsibilities when carrying out predator control and ensures that they understand good practice. It is invaluable as it complements their learning for their main qualification.”

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

The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust was able to offer the course at a reduced rate due to grant from a trust fund set up after the death of Sir Phillip Payne-Gallwey.

The purpose of the trust fund is to help with the training and education of young keepers.

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