THE amount of land used by shooters to record wildlife through BASC’s Green Shoots Mapping website is double that designated as National Nature Reserves (NNR) in the UK.
BASC members are now logging wildlife on over 4,500 square kilometres while, by comparison, NNRs cover around 2,200 square kilometres.
Green Shoots Mapping was introduced in 2012 and is BASC’s species and habitat recording system for members. It also lets members make detailed maps for their own use.
Shooting gets people out in the countryside, improving health and wellbeing, but shooters can also play an important part in ‘citizen science’ projects such as Green Shoots Mapping.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said “Through this simple but accurate system, BASC has collected over 61,000 records of biodiversity from land accessed for shooting throughout the UK.
“We know that the records our members can provide have a high value for conservation knowledge because it provides data on the distribution of species at the UK scale, filling in gaps in knowledge.
“In addition, it can also start to produce trends on how those species and habitats are changing over time. To that end, in March we will be asking our members to review habitat and species lists for their shoots so we can start to track changes in wildlife.
“As this knowledge builds we envisage it will become a central part of national monitoring programmes for the health of our countryside.”
The Value of Shooting Report highlighted that those involved in shooting spend 3.9 million work days on conservation each year, the equivalent of 16,000 full-time jobs. The Green Shoots Mapping website can be found here.