As the game shooting season comes to an end, BASC, the UK’S largest shooting organisation, has highlighted the benefits of shooting for the whole of the UK and its population.
Without shooting, the British countryside, in which we all have an interest, would look very different. Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area, puts £250 million a year into conservation with shooters themselves contributing 3.9 million work days on conservation, the equivalent of 16,000 full time jobs
Research shows that land managed for shooting is richer in biodiversity and that songbirds, for example, benefit from pest control and the management of game such as pheasants and partridges.
Without shooting, rural areas and the national economy as a whole would lose £2.5 billion that shooters spend on goods and services. Shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full-time jobs and brings much needed resources into rural areas during the off-season when tourism is at low ebb.
Without shooting we would all be deprived of the ready availability of game as food. Game meat has increased in popularity year on year as a traditional, natural, wild food. BASC estimates that up to 50 per cent of the game produced in the UK is eaten here with demand for British game still high on the continent.
Alan Jarrett, Chairman of BASC, said: “As another season comes to an end, shooting can congratulate itself on the contribution it makes to conservation in Britain. The countryside is a better, more diverse and vibrant place because of the contribution made by shooting in all its forms.
“However we cannot be complacent. There are challenges ahead and anti-shooting activists out there who want to damage and destroy that contribution. Despite this, thanks in part to the work done by BASC, I am confident that shooting will go from strength to strength in the future.”
Richard Ali, Chief Executive of BASC said: “Many hundreds of thousands of people shoot in the UK. This is an activity that contributes massively to the country and in often unrecognised ways, improves our lives, our countryside and our economy.”