Ashley Fox MEP visited a Bristol clay shooting ground to find out more about shooting and the wider role it plays in the South West Economy.
Mr Fox visited Braces where he met representatives of the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), and was given a clay shooting lesson by shotgun coach John Pool.
BASC England South West director David Gervers told Mr Fox about the value of shooting to the South West economy.
David Gervers said: “Shooting brings huge economic and environmental benefits to the South West of England. The recently released Value of Shooting report shows that people come from far and wide to shoot here and the benefits to the region’s hotels, restaurants and small businesses are significant. Shooting generates £250 million for the South West economy every year and supports the equivalent of 10,000 full-time jobs in the area.”
“Shooting also plays an important role in wildlife conservation. BASC and its members do a lot to protect natural habitats and promote wildlife diversity through initiatives such as our Green Shoots programme. In the South West the conservation work put in by people who shoot equals more than 2,000 full-time equivalent jobs.”
Mr Fox said: “Braces is one of the South West’s many shooting businesses. Shooting in the South West is substantial and supports thousands of jobs. In the South West alone shooting is worth over £250 million, with the total national contribution around £2 billion. I am proud to support shooting sports both in the UK and the European Union and was delighted to see first-hand what goes on under the expert tutelage of John Pool.”
Mr Fox is a member of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on Sustainable Hunting, Biodiversity, and Countryside Activities. BASC organises meetings of the group through FACE – the European Federation of Associations for Hunting & Conservation; an organisation which represents seven million people who shoot across Europe.
For more information visit www.bracesofbristol.com
The photograph shows (left to right): David Gervers, Ashley Fox MEP, Dan Pool (managing director of Braces), John Pool.