The UK’s largest shooting organisation, BASC, has welcomed the government’s commitment to rural proofing to ensure that the needs of people living and working in rural areas are taken into account, and that they are given the same opportunities as those based in cities. The government’s announcement was its response to the Lord Cameron Review on Rural Proofing Implementation published today.
Shooting is major economic force in rural areas, worth £2 billion to the UK economy and supporting the full time equivalent of 74,000 jobs. It is responsible for one third of the £70 million tourism spend in Exmoor National Park alone. The majority of shooting takes place during the “off-season” for tourism, providing important income for rural areas. An independent report on shooting (PACEC 2014) found that there was around a 30% increase in out of season accommodation occupancy in shooting areas with 4.13 million visitor nights generated annually by shooting providers.
Richard Ali, BASC chief executive, said:
“We welcome the government’s commitment to rural proof policies and decisions. BASC has been at the forefront of arguing for recognition of the factors that influence the rural economy and rural life because shooting live quarry shooting always takes place in rural areas. Without the input of shoots, a host of tourism related businesses would not benefit and this can make businesses viable in areas which are less economically favoured. As an all party organisation we hope that all political parties will be able to make the same commitment to rural proofing their policies and decisions.”