A partnership agreement which recognises the important role of shooting’s conservation contribution to the English Countryside has been signed by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and Natural England.
BASC is the UK’s largest shooting organisation with a membership of over 140,000. Natural England is the Government’s advisor for the natural environment in England.
BASC looks forward to working with Natural England on the annual action plan which sets out a formula for joint working to achieve common aims. This covers matters of importance to shooting and to conservationists such as delivery of the Government’s Biodiversity 2020 programme, coastal access, wildfowling consents and future reviews of general licences which allow the necessary control of certain birds.
Tim Russell, BASC’s director of conservation, said: “BASC is pleased to sign this modern partnership agreement with Natural England which recognises the important contribution that people who shoot make to the nature and landscape conservation of the English countryside, and commits the two organisations to exploring how this contribution can be further developed. The agreement also recognises that shooting as an outdoor recreation can improve health and well-being and makes a significant contribution to the economy, particularly in rural areas.”
A particular emphasis will be on how BASC’s Green Shoots programme can be further developed so that its members will be able to contribute to monitoring and conserving habitats and species as part of the Government’s Biodiversity 2020 programme.
BASC chairman Alan Jarrett said: ‘This partnership agreement is a significant marker. Natural England formally and clearly recognises the benefits of lawful shooting and its related conservation effort. It sets out a blueprint for discussing issues, for working together and for achieving positive results for shooting and conservation. It should be welcomed by everyone who shoots.’
Notes to editors:
• Shoot providers spend £250 million per year on conservation
• 3.9 million conservation workdays are generated because of shooting; the equivalent of 16,000 full-time conservation jobs
• Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area
(Source The Value of Shooting report: http://shootingfacts.co.uk/)
For more information, contact the BASC press office on 01244 573052.