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There are about 3000 full time gamekeepers in the UK and a similar number who do the job part time.
Game keeping is a very old profession. The first gamekeepers in Britain would have been the men who protected the deer from poachers in the medieval Royal hunting forests.
Today, gamekeepers are still concerned about poachers but their main work is to help pheasants, partridges, hares and grouse to thrive in the countryside.
A very small proportion of gamekeepers who worked in England between 1710 and 1900 are listed as manorial gamekeepers on Gamekeepers Deputations which were kept by the Clerk of the Peace for a county. Some of these deputations still survive and are lodged with Quarter Sessions Records at the relevant County Records Office.
A gamekeeper (often abbreviated to keeper) is a person who manages an area of countryside to make sure there is enough game for shooting, or fish for angling, and who actively manages areas of woodland, moorland, waterway or farmland for the benefit of game birds, deer, fish and wildlife in general.
Typically, a gamekeeper is employed by a landowner, and often in the UK by a country estate, to prevent poaching, to rear and release game birds such as pheasants and partridge, encourage and manage wild red grouse, and to control predators such as foxes, to manage habitats to suit game, and to monitor the health of the game.
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