More than £19k raised in Peak District fundraiser to help save struggling school

More than £19,000 has been raised to help save a struggling school on the edge of the Peak District.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 4:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 4:04 pm
The cheque being presented to Deepcar Pre-School and Daycare

Deepcar pre-school and daycare centre has been struggling financially recently due to rent increases and concerns have been raised about its future.

Many gamekeepers and farmers in the Peak District have sent their children to charity-run private school – and with rural schools and facilities being far more at risk of closure than their urban counterparts, the thought of this community asset closing has been a huge worry for those in the area.

With this in mind, gamekeeper John Tatchell and his partner Laura, who works at the pre-school, came up with the idea of a fundraiser for the school.

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Four private moorland estates offered a day’s shooting, consisting of four grouse drives on four separate moors.

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The estates involved are all family run grouse moors who don’t offer commercial shooting, and one local businessman has offered £19,100 for the day’s shooting – a sum which will undoubtedly make a huge difference to the pre-school’s financial situation.

The day itself was run by the Peak District Moorland Group, a grass roots organisation run by keepers and their families to educate and promote the benefits of grouse moor management.

They say Moorland managed for sustainable grouse-shooting has a hugely important role to play in upland areas, as it “leads to a mosaic of income generating activities that sustain upland communities, as highlighted in the University of Northampton’s recent review of sustainable driven grouse shooting”.

However, according to the group, the 2021 season has been one of the worst years for grouse numbers throughout the north of England and Scotland in living memory due to weather events throughout the breeding season which has had the obvious knock-on effects to local businesses and communities.

The Peak District has been fortunate however as the area has fared better than most in terms of grouse numbers, which has allowed this day to go ahead.

A spokesperson for the Peak District Moorland Group said: “Deepcar pre-school is at the heart of our local community so of course we will take all steps necessary to save it. This is another good example of the extensive social and community benefits brought to rural areas by grouse moor management.”

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