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BASC bites – a monthly snap-shot of our work

The examples below give a snapshot of our most recent work.
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In March:

Promoting Shooting

  • BASC’s firearms team attended the Firearms Licensing Advisory Group meetings with Essex Police and Kent Police.
  • The firearms team met the new Firearm Licensing Manager for North Wales Police at BASC HQ to start building a good working relationship.
  • Colin Shedden from BASC Scotland chaired a meeting of the Scottish Firearms Practitioners’ Group in Edinburgh. The meeting addressed a number of  issues relating to the health and wellbeing of certificate holders and was attended by representatives from the Scottish Government, the Gamekeepers  Welfare Trust and a representative from the Firearms and Explosives Working Group.
  • BASC’s Central team and BASC’s gamekeeping officer, Alex Farrell, attended the Leicestershire Police HQ for their Wildlife Training sessions. The  Wildlife Crime officers learned about shooting, different types of shooters, trapping and snares, legislations, etc.
  • BASC’s firearms team met West Yorkshire Police in support of a member having his previously revoked shotgun certificate reinstated. The member  appealed through BASC’s Legal Expenses Insurance Scheme. The meeting was successful and the certificate was reinstated without the necessity of an appeal court hearing.
  • BASC’s Central team visited High Lodge Shooting Ground in Suffolk and agreed some introductory shooting days for the future.
  • BASC issued a press release in relation to rural organisations responding to a pheasant ban ruling on Welsh Government Woodland Estate.
  • BASC’s head of gamekeeping and gundogs, Glynn Evans, is the secretary of the Code of Good Shooting Practice and the group met recently. A  representative of the BGA also attended to give an update. Of note: since a reprint in 2017, approximately 20,000 hard copies of the Code have been distributed.
  • After some individuals launched an attack via Judicial Review on the open general licences, BASC responded by offering its expertise to Natural  England. This was to ensure a positive outcome of a recently-announced review of the general licences for pest bird species in England. Read more about it here.
  • BASC told the BBC that the organisation has zero tolerance for wildlife crime. Speaking on Sunday Politics, BASC North director, Duncan Thomas,  called for people to ‘work together’ to deal with wildlife crime.

844

Firearms enquiries this month

Campaigning and Policy

  • BASC was at No.10 Downing Street with Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown to meet the Government to talk about shooting issues.
  • Final .50 calibre ban attempt withdrawn. BASC has advised the Home Office and lobbied ministers on this matter, given evidence to the Bill committee  and rallied members in support of the amendment.
  • BASC complained to the Chief Constable of North Wales after the North Wales Rural Crime Unit retweeted a tweet that suggested pheasant shooting  should be banned on university campuses.
  • BASC complained to Facebook about a post from animal rights activists which asked supporters to target game farms to release birds. It also provided a map of targets. Facebook removed the post.
  • BASC published the results of its third annual review of firearms licensing performance, which revealed a stark contrast between forces across  England and Wales.
  • Members of BASC’s firearms team met representatives from Fit2Drive, regarding the possibility of them supplying medical verifications in the firearms licensing process.
  • BASC’s South East team attended the Sussex Police Rural Crime Group meeting as well as the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Rural Partnership meeting.

Promoting Conservation and its Benefits

  • BASC’s Biodiversity Project Developer, Sarah Pinnell, chaired ‘Saving Gower’s Water Voles’ project partnership meeting in Llandarcy. 
  • Old fridges, toy cars and drums full of oil were only a few of the items collected during an annual clean-up along the foreshore of the Lindisfarne  National Nature Reserve.
  • BASC has called for raptor persecution to stop, full stop, following the publication of a paper, which presents a pattern of hen harrier persecution  over grouse moors.  For further information, please see our press release.
  • BASC is seeking a meeting with the new chair of Natural England to emphasise how sustainable shooting can enhance the environment.
  • BASC welcomed a decision by the High Court, which allows Natural England to research whether brood management can improve hen harrier numbers.
  • BASC’s Biodiversity Project Developer, Sarah Pinnell, attended the Red Squirrels United Knowledge Fair. This was a great opportunity to bring together  red squirrel conservationists from across the sector to share knowledge on invasive species management and a great opportunity to see local red squirrels and conservation in action.
  • BASC welcomed the results of a study which showed serious limitations to alternative uses of land currently used for driven grouse shooting in Scotland.
  • BASC’s Central team attended the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) conference in Loddington, Leicestershire.
  • They also met the Peak District Moorland Group with the view of extending the Let’s Learn Moor project in the Peak District.

Key Projects

Airgunning

  • BASC promoted the BASC Airgun Code of practice on social media to help ensure airgunners remain safe and responsible shooters.
  • BASC’s Wales team ran a drey-poking day in Ceredigion.

BASC Taste of Game

  • British Pie Week took place, with Taste of Game once again sponsoring the Speciality Meat and Game Pie section.
  • Schools Game Changer project got off to a flying start in Northern Ireland. So far, children in ten Northern Ireland schools were taught how to cook  game.
  • BASC backs British Game Alliance (BGA) with support package. BASC announced that it provided a substantial support package to the BGA, which includes financial backing, access to BASC staff expertise and a BASC council member to sit on the BGA board.

Clayshooting

Game Shooting

  • For the first time this year, BASC Scotland held their annual Gamekeepers’ Day at Blair Castle. Almost 100 gamekeepers and gamekeeping students  attended the event and enjoyed a morning of presentations on topical issues such as trapping, gamebird diseases, beavers and game processing.
  • BASC advised game farmers, and people involved in game rearing, to check their security arrangements, following calls from animal rights extremists to target their activities.
  • BASC’s South East team attended a gamekeeping day on the Isle of Wight with a BASC syndicate.
  • BASC’s South West team ran a gamekeepers’ evening at Hartpury College.

Gundogs

  • BASC’s gundog team attended Crufts at the NEC in Birmingham. This year, there were 269 entries, which was an increase of 21 from last year (248). The winner of the Northesk Trophy, for the best gundog in the gamekeepers’ classes, was a golden retriever called Purbarn A Breeze Down River, handled by Richard Mace.
  • BASC published a blog by Janet Menzies, the author of Training the Working Spaniel, on gundog security and how to prevent gundog theft.

Ladies Shooting

  • BASC celebrated International Women’s Day by suggesting that booking on one of our BASC Ladies Shooting events would be a great way to celebrate.  For further details, please take a look at our Ladies Shooting events page
  • The winner of BASC Ladies Shooting’s Star of Shooting award 2018, Louise Alford, was presented with her prize at BASC head office by BASC Chief  Executive, Ian Bell.
  • BASC’s Wales team held their first Ladies Introduction to Rifle Shooting course at Penrhiwpal Shooting Club in Ceredigion.

Wildfowling

  • Plans are well underway for the 2019 launch of the Wildlife Habitat Trust stamp.
  • BASC Scotland hosted the first of this spring’s Wildfowling Workshops. The event updated members on UK, national and international issues affecting   wildfowl and wildfowling. It also incorporated a duck and goose wing workshop and gave members a chance to use the ST-2 Shooting Simulator.
  • BASC’s wildfowling team attended the Southern Wildlife Conference where 60 wildfowlers were updated on local, national and international issues.
  • BASC attended the Highbridge Wildfowlers committee, where the club’s draft Long Term Management Plan was discussed.
  • BASC’s Wildfowling team finalised the Dyfi Wildfowling Consents and these were submitted to Natural England (NE).

Young Shots and Young Farmers

  • BASC launched a Young Shots photo competition.
  • BASC’s South East team worked with a Young Farmers group in Bedfordshire to organise a talk and shooting simulator evening.
  • BASC Central team, accompanied by BASC’s chairman, gave a presentation on BASC’s work to the North Elmham Young Farmers Club.
  • BASC’s Central team met independent shooting suppliers, Roe Firearms and Eastern Sporting, in Essex and agreed sponsorship for Young Shot Days.

Training and High Standards

  • BASC launched a search for more shotgun coaches to join our professional team.
  • BASC announced more training courses. For the up-to-date list of upcoming courses, please take a look at our dedicated training courses webpage
  • A number of training courses were run across the UK in March:
    Introduction into Woodpigeon
    Shotgun Safety Officers course
    First Response Emergency Care (FREC)
    Pre-DSC1
    DSC1
    Bespoke Airgun Instructors course
    Carcass and butchery
    Sporting Rifle Module 3
    Firearms Awareness Training (Rifle)
    Northern Ireland specific Squirrel course
    Grey squirrel control
    Mink control

BASC Membership

3,956

calls were handled by the membership team


 

Vehicle discounts

Saved BASC members approximately £190,000.00 on vehicle purchases in March.

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