THE value of shooting and conservation in Wales was highlighted to around 100 delegates at a recent bird seminar.
BASC wildfowling officer Mark Greenhough delivered a presentation to the 32nd Pembrokeshire Bird Conference then joined BASC vice-chairman Michael Sherman to field questions from the floor. This was one of several presentations about management of bird habitats at the conference.
The pair were encouraged by their reception and Mike Sherman said: “Many people were genuinely amazed at the contribution the shooting community provides in conservation work and improving the environment generally.
“We enjoyed the chance to communicate with the audience about shooting. We also welcomed more diverse questions on climate change, the erosion of wetlands and our thoughts on the cuts in government funding and the effect on non-governmental organisations in providing and delivering conservation and environmental projects.
“Mark provided an absolutely professional and very informative presentation. Two individuals I spoke to were not in favour of shooting, but even they agreed BASC and its members deliver an ‘admirable’ contribution to conservation.”
Mark Greenhough’s presentation highlighted the findings of the Value of Shooting report, which established that the sport boosts the Welsh economy by £75 million per year and directly influences the management of 380,000 hectares of land in the Principality.
He also provided case studies promoting the efforts of wildfowling clubs in successfully managing wild birds. He talked also about the Dyfi Estuary wildfowlers’ protection of Greenland white-fronted geese for over 40 years and their partnership work with BASC, the RSPB, the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Natural Resources Wales.
Mark Greenhough said: “It was thoroughly enjoyable to engage with people who may not be seen as the natural bedfellows of those who enjoy shooting as a sport. I believe it was an informative conference for all involved and I would be delighted if it was a sign of future co-operation.”