Phacelia by Chris Bright of Bright SeedsBASC has put shooting and conservation on the agenda in discussions about how the subsidies for the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) will be spent in Wales. The implementation of CAP could provide direct financial support for shooting as an activity as well as indirectly through financing the creation of habitats.

A Welsh Government consultation has taken place on CAP implementation in Wales and BASC’s response’s to the consultation was submitted on 26th November.

BASC response

BASC responded to question 5 of the consultation which requested feedback on any additional factors that should be taken into account in determining the level of any transfers from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2. The points raised by BASC were:

  • BASC members can assist landowners and farmers with conservation works associated with both Pillar 1 and Pillar 2.
  • It is important that Pillar 2 options recognise this close link between farmers, shooters and conservation gain at the landscape scale.
  • Shooting is worth £73 million to the Welsh economy.  We know that the management of at least half a million hectares of land in Wales is influenced by shooting and over 40,000 hectares are managed directly for shooting. We also know shooters spend over £9.6 million on improving habitat and managing wildlife. These figures are taken from a 2004 study on the economic and environmental impact of sporting shooting in the UK. This study will be repeated in 2014 and we expect to see significant increases to the above figures.
  • BASC’s Green Shoots programme demonstrates how shooting contributes to biodiversity targets at the landscape scale.
  • The Green Shoots programme is so successful it is actively supported financially by Natural Resources Wales and works in partnership with a wide variety of nature conservation organisations such as local wildlife trusts.
  • BASC recommends that the financial contribution of shooting to the rural economy is recognised by the Welsh Government in its Rural Development Programme for the 2015 to 2020 period.
  • BASC has a proven track record with rural tourism for example via the BASC South West Tourism project in England, which we are aiming to replicate in Wales.
  • We are currently in talks with both the Nation Farmers’ Union of England and Wales and the Farmers’ Union of Wales with the view of creating an agreement on various subjects including assisting/advising the farming community in creating better habitats on their land which will in turn benefit the fauna and wildlife and for those who shoot on their land.
  • With those in farming looking to diversify then shooting sports is an option, especially as game shooting in particular will have little effect on the day-to-day management of the land.
  • BASC welcomes the opportunity to respond to this consultation and would to like to express its interest in being involved in further discussions on these issues.

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