Countryside hills
Countryside hills

Meet your candidates

Five candidates have been nominated to stand for two national seats in this year’s BASC Council elections. Eligible BASC members may vote for two candidates, one for each available seat.

Click on candidates below to view their individual statements.


John BatesJohn Bates

Proposed by J Trevers
Seconded by M Stevens

What I can do for you, and all of us in the BASC shooting community is why I’m asking you to vote for me. As a member of BASC Council, I can build on the work I already do – helping the association communicate effectively on your behalf about the wonderful food, social benefits, and great practical conservation work, which results from shooting. 

As a member of council, I believe I would have much to offer the membership and, if appointed, I am confident I would bring relevant experience and calm professionalism, gained from working well with people in complex situations.

In my career so far, I have used my communications skills and life experience to help manage many high-profile and sensitive issues. I’m familiar with scrutinising information and acting as a critical friend to aid quality decision making. I have my feet ‘firmly on the ground’ and have worked with special advisors and policy makers, in government and the opposition. As a communications advisor, I have authored evidence and responded in a compelling and helpful way to arguments made by pressure groups. The work I do with BASC underpins the public relations and public affairs activity, equipping people with the insight and understanding of how to get the best from opportunities across multiple communication channels.

Many families and businesses benefit from a vibrant shooting sector, and this should not be overlooked by Westminster or the devolved administrations. Critics are relentless in their attempts to limit or curb shooting and demonise those participating in it, which could result in rural communities suffering job losses and wider economic damage.

I believe the ‘for and against’ equation for shooting and conservation, whether coastal or inland, must be constantly balanced and advanced, and anything I can do to protect and promote shooting and conservation, to grow the association and to supplement the great work of the BASC team, would be a privilege.

The value obtained by members from a strong BASC is critical in ensuring we can continue to enjoy all that the rural landscape offers, and I have been a member and a keen supporter of the association for nearly 30 years and I would now like to help shape its future.

Angela CharltonAngela Charlton

Proposed by Carl Evans
Seconded by Paul Leyshon

I trained as a wildlife artist and went on to focus on environmental education, volunteering and community engagement in the outdoors and practical conservation. I’ve worked for several conservation organisations that include wildlife trusts and the RSPB.

I am currently the director of Ramblers Wales and enjoy the strategic part of my role developing plans that meet the organisation’s vision.

I love engaging with politics, advocating, and influencing change and improvements and have enjoyed some some success. I am used to managing large budgets and recently managed a £1.2 million project and the engagement of hundreds of volunteers promoting community engagement in local path networks and nature improvements. As a senior manager of Ramblers, I work co-productively across the nations and believe I can use these skills in a similar way to support the work of BASC. Much as I would as part of my day job in similar circumstances, I took time during BASC’s Act Now campaign to speak with many within the shooting community, encouraging them to participate while gaining a better understating of their needs and concerns. I’d like to use these skills to support the work of BASC.

My late father, Dr Gareth Davies, was a well-respected Labrador retriever field trialler, trainer and A panel judge. He jointly wrote the book The Best of the Best: A History of the IGL Retriever Championship 1909-2011. He inspired me to continue working my gundogs and I’ve been picking up for over 20 years and have a passion for sustainable practices on shoots. I’m also a very new and enthusiastic wildfowler with Morlais Valley Wildfowlers and am impressed by the number of young members. I’m also impressed by the community support and knowledge within the membership. I have a passion for promoting county sports in a measured and well-informed way and would welcome the opportunity to be part of a positive future for BASC.

Luke GreenLuke Green

Proposed by T Finchett
Seconded by M Hughes

From an early age I grew up learning how to hunt and fish with my family, including my uncle who was a gamekeeper. To this day our family continues to enjoy country pursuits, working the beating line during the winter months, as well as fishing and family trips to our local clay grounds all year round. I also help as an underkeeper at a local family shoot throughout the year.

My professional career as a director, non-executive director and consultant means that, if elected to BASC Council, I will be able to offer a meaningful level of support to the organisation and I hope my professional experience will provide valuable insight for the team.

Supporting the BASC vision of fighting for sustainable shooting and conservation, I understand that shooting and fishing provide a critical element in maintaining our countryside and wildlife. I am keen to make sure the values of BASC and the activities it supports are understood by more people to ensure that the things we love can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.

I am someone who strongly believes that the voice of an organisation’s membership is critical in delivering the best experience. If elected, it will be my goal to ensure that all voices are heard, not only of the BASC existing membership but also new potential members who are needed to grow and sustain the organisation. 

Aidan DrydenAidan Dryden

Proposed by K Shaw
Seconded by S Shaw

I am a passionate wildfowler and rough shooter. My entry into shooting was through air rifle shooting and beating on a friend’s farmland and farm shoots in rural South Devon. I have enjoyed occasional driven days and walked up woodcock rough shooting in the West country for 20 years. I was fortunate to be mentored by deer stalking friends of my father and was among the youngest to achieve a pass of the stalkers’ certificate when it was introduced. I was also lucky enough to shoot a day’s walked grouse on Ilkley Moor when it was a small private shooting syndicate before it was lost for good. I joined BASC at the Bowood Game Fair in 1979.

I have two young sons who I want to have similar opportunities to shoot as I had, so I am deeply invested in the future of our sport through BASC.

I am a scientist, veterinary advisor, civil servant, health and safety representative, and have skills and insight into the workings of industry and government that I feel I can usefully bring to bear in the role. I believe I can represent like-minded shooting friends and colleagues for whom a day’s shooting is about camaraderie and the craic. I feel my skills will contribute to supporting BASC’s use of evidence-based arguments and education to counter the challenges that lie ahead for our sport, the disinformation and those who threaten our sport on all fronts.

As a wildfowler and user of a vintage ‘fowling piece, I understand the challenges we fare on issues including conservation of habitat, consents, home loading, the availability of non-toxic shot, and the challenges posed by the vital move away from lead, which while not universally understood or accepted, despite the current campaigning, is vital to the future and sustainability of our sport. Alongside initiatives such as giving away the game, we have to keep promoting the sustainable benefits of cooking and eating our game when we kill it.

I will contribute positively to BASC’s ongoing fight for the protection of the rights of our shooting family, whatever their chosen quarry, and our way of life as part of BASC Council.

Gareth WilsonGareth Wilson

Proposed by W Wassenaar
Seconded by T Le-Bon Olive

I have significant experience across a broad range of country pursuits covered by BASC. I believe this gives me substantial insight into the very real issues that members face and the vision and mission BASC pursues. 

I am an avid deer stalker and have permissions locally and in Scotland.  I have also been a regular participant on the BASC Arran deer stalking scheme for almost a decade. 

I get great satisfaction from working my dogs, having owned Labradors for ‘picking up’ and currently owning pointers that I love to work and shoot over.  It is this foundation, combined with the significant business/organisational development experience I have, that I believe will bring significant benefit to both members and BASC as an organisation.

I retired as Chief Constable of Suffolk in 2019, and I believe my 30 years of experience in policing and around a decade of holding executive roles in an organisation that had a budget of circa £125million will help ensure BASC’s future, in that the experiences I have had will help inform the BASC business.  There has been significant concern over the police approach to countryside activities and I believe my background will assist in informing a balanced BASC response.

In my role, I was responsible and accountable for the development of both the long-term strategic planning of the organisation and that of the annual business plan.  I was also responsible for performance management and was accountable to the Commissioner for organisational performance. I recognise the importance of this role on BASC Council. I have experience in the role of non-executive director as I am a member of an audit and assurance board for a national organisation.

Another area I believe will be of great assistance to the chief executive, and to BASC more broadly, is my experience in dealing with both the civil service and also politicians across a range of parties, both locally and nationally.  When I retired from policing, I worked as a senior civil servant within the Ministry of Defence for two years. I now work as a business consultant and have regular contact with officials within the civil service and with Members of Parliament.

Finally, communication with members, the public and politicians is critical to BASC’s success.  Poor communication with any of these could lead to a reduction in membership, poor public perception or politicians who may not have the benefit of a balanced view by all parties.  I have substantial experience of dealing with TV, radio, newsprint, and social media communication as well as developing both written communication and verbal presentation both internally and externally.

I hope you will agree this combination of a deep understanding of the countryside and country pursuits, as well as the substantial experience I have, will be of significant benefit to members of BASC, the chief executive and council.