BASC says the shooting community must step up to the challenges set down in the proposed new Environment Bill.
The Bill, which covers England only, will enshrine into law environmental principles from international agreements as well as commitments made in the government’s 25-year environment plan.
Headline priorities include improving air and water quality, tackling plastic pollution and restoring habitats to allow plants and wildlife to thrive.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity, said: “People who shoot in the UK spend more than £250 million on conservation each year and influence the management of two thirds of the UK’s rural land area. This might be through actions like managing pests and predators, planting cover crops to provide food and shelter for game and wildlife and managing or creating permanent habitats.
“Many people who shoot also engage directly with species-specific conservation projects either led by BASC or with conservation partners.
“Shooting is continuously rising to new challenges. Take for example BASC’s campaign to reduce plastic use within shooting and to improve recycling. Manufacturers are expanding their range of cartridges which do not use plastic in some key components, hence taking responsibility for reducing plastics at the point of production.”
Robin Marshall-Ball, BASC council member and conservation specialist, said: “After spending over a decade working with a wide range of conservation partners, funders, local shoots and institutions on water vole conservation in the south west, I know the very real benefits that shooting has for achieving challenging targets for species and habitats of conservation concern.
“Collaboration was key in this work and is key in meeting the challenges in the new Bill. BASC values partnerships and will engage with others to improve our environment.”