The UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), is gearing up for the start of the pheasant shooting season on 1st October.
BASC has sent a letter to all local newspapers in the UK highlighting the benefits of game shooting, game meat and the conservation work carried out on shoots.
BASC’s expert staff are on hand all year round to help its 130,000 members.
Glynn Evans, BASC’s head of game and gamekeeping, said: “BASC’s game and gamekeeping team provides a wide variety of services to our members. These can range from giving individual help and advice to actively promoting shooting to the Government, the press and the public. One day a member of the team may be at a meeting with politicians or civil servants whilst another is out on a hillside talking to gamekeepers. We produce codes of practice and give practical advice to ensure game shooting is carried out to the highest standards."
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: “Good shooting relies on good habitat. Shooting providers create, manage and retain habitat. This benefits not only quarry species but also a huge range of other wildlife. Game shoots can improve their ground in many ways. For example establishing a hedge around woodlands acts as a windbreak as well as providing additional habitat and berries for game and wildlife. Selective felling of trees and coppicing brings light to the woodland floor, which suits pheasants and woodcock as well as ground flora and a host of other species like butterflies.
“Cover crops such as maize and kale provide food and shelter for game birds over the hard winter months. These cover crops also benefit other species, especially farmland birds whose numbers can crash over winter without access to food and shelter. There are grants that could be applied to help with the costs of managing habitat but often shoots fund the work themselves.”
A guide to the laws governing firearms ownership and use and quarry and pest species with information about conservation and the impact of shooting on the economy can be found here.