BASC’s Key Achievements of 2018
The examples below give a snapshot of what we have achieved 2018. A membership of circa 155,000 know the value of BASC.
- BASC wrote to and met with those police forces that have introduced mandatory GP screening for firearm and shotgun certificate applications to ensure an efficient, cost-effective, robust system of firearms licensing that protects public safety and provides excellent service to the shooting community. We also wrote to 55 MPs whose constituents would be affected by the change in policy.
- BASC held meetings with police forces, policy advisors, MPs and Ministers to raise concerns about introduced mandatory GP screening for firearm and shotgun certificate applications and other issues around firearms licensing.
- BASC’s firearms team prepared six “court ready” expert reports in support of members’ cases and were prepared to give evidence in court in support of them.
Helped 21 wildfowling clubs in England secure shooting over 19,600 acres of foreshore and inland marsh.
- Worked with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), The Caerlaverock and District Wildfowlers Association and The Scottish Solway Wildfowlers Association to put in place a new approach to stewarding and managing wildfowling on Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve.
- BASC’s firearms team attended 15 strategic meetings (e.g. with the Home Office, the Firearms Practitioners’ Group and the British Shooting Sports Council) to help protect and promote shooting.
- BASC’s firearms team attended two ministerial meetings with the Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP on medical involvement in firearms licensing.
- BASC films made more than 70 clips and films for YouTube, web and social media, covering topics such as gun safety, conservation, game and wild food.
- Trained front-line police officers in England to raise awareness and improve their understanding of shooting sports and issues affecting people who live and work in the countryside.
- Worked closely with FACE, (European Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation), to ensure UK shooting is represented, protected and promoted internationally, including working as part of a task force to tackle the issue of African Swine Fever.
- The head of BASC’s Game and Deer department chaired the England and Wales Poaching Priority Delivery Group, as well as sitting on important consultations for wildlife crime and humane trapping.
- Issued a legal challenge (via the Judicial Review Court) in relation to the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s decision to remove the paper firearms application system in favour of an online only system.
- Engaged with the Northern Ireland Auditor General’s office, to highlight concerns regarding the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Firearms and Explosives Branch.
Represented members’ interest across a wide range of areas including trapping, snaring, access, dog ownership, game rearing and deer management.
- Routinely represented our members’ interests in relation to firearms application delays, refusals and revocations.
- Provided shooting opportunities for members under various Deer Stalking Schemes.
Members’ offers, services and savings
- The firearms team handled over 9,000 enquiries from members on various issues including medical fees, appeals and firearms licensing application delays.
- Members saved over £5 million through BASC’s vehicle discount scheme, which currently has 25 vehicle manufacturers signed up.
- More members’ offers were added to the range including Truckman, Gearmate, Can-Am side-by-side vehicles, Hay Hampers and SsangYong.
BASC Shooting and Conservation magazine’s (S&C) audited circulation has been steadily climbing and currently stands at 133,809.
- Presented the winner of BASC Ladies Shooting’s first ever Star of Shooting award with her prize.
- Approx. 25,000 BASC members enjoyed complementary entry to the 2018 Game Fair.
- Published monthly Science Matters to inform members of the latest research affecting shooting.
- Published monthly BASC Bites to inform members about how BASC works for shooting, conservation and the members each month.
- Worked with P&O Irish Sea Ferries to negotiate a discount scheme on the Larne to Cairnryan route, exclusively for BASC members.
- Negotiated a 10-15% discount, exclusively for BASC members, on butchery equipment supplied by Scobie and Junor (Ireland) Ltd.
Politics and lobbying
- BASC worked with the British Shooting Sports Council (BSSC) to challenge the ban on high muzzle energy rifles in the Offensive Weapons Bill. This resulted in the government pulling the ban and announcing they will consult further.
- Gave oral evidence in support of high muzzle energy target shooting before a Public Bill Committee.
- BASC took Natural Resources Wales to appeal regarding their decision to restrict wildfowling on the Dyfi. The appeal was not upheld but the challenge was important as it highlighted deficiencies in NRW’s performance and approach to be rectified.
- Advised the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) of the impact of a lead restriction in response to a public consultation on the use of lead shot over wetlands.
Represented BASC and wildfowling interests at the Greenland white-fronted Goose partnership meeting on the Dyfi Estuary.
Wrote to MPs to provide them with the facts on grouse shooting and moorland management and gave the BBC the facts on grouse in live radio interviews.
- Hosted rural receptions across the country at all major political party conferences, with the Angling Trust, at which Baroness Cathy Bakewell, the Liberal’s Lords spokesperson on environment, food and rural affairs, applauded the work of both organisations; Labour’s shadow environment secretary (Sue Hayman MP) highlighted the value of shooting to rural economy; and Conservative MP (Mark Spencer) stated shooting is ‘a positive story that deserves to be told’.
- Responded to 36 consultations, representing shooting interests on a wide range of topics including animal welfare, firearms, lead ammunition, wildfowling, agriculture post-Brexit, and national park management plans.
- BASC met with Sue Hayman MP in light of the pledge to end heather burning in Labour’s environment policy and provided her with an evidence base brief.
- Informed a government sports inquiry on how shooting can help to get more people active, reduce social isolation and promote personal wellbeing.
- Provided both written and oral evidence to the Grouse Moor Management Review in Scotland.
- Prepared and submitted 12 separate briefing papers for MPs.
- Liaised with the government and police to resolve a ban by German airline Lufthansa on passengers travelling into Scottish airports with firearms.
- Provided the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shooting and Conservation, which brings together supporters of shooting in the Commons and the Lords.
- Organised and sponsored the Lords vs. Commons annual clay shooting competition.
- Held three separate meetings with Sir Jeffrey Donaldson (MP) to highlight concerns regarding the lack of evidence to support the Home Office proposal to ban .50 calibre rifles.
Conservation and land management
- BASC has had continued success with funding bids from Natural Resources Wales working on water vole and red squirrel conservation around Wales. The project worth £121,000 helps create quality water vole habitat and networks of volunteers to protect them from predation.
- Awarded the Stanley Duncan Conservation Trophy to the Lindisfarne Wildfowling Management Group for its continued involvement in the Natural England Lindisfarne Wildfowling Scheme. The group ensures wildfowling interests are represented and a sustainable permit scheme can exist on a National Nature Reserve which has over 500,000 annual visitors.
- BASC were one of more than 100 interested parties to attend the Welsh curlew conference, and were subsequently asked to be part of the Wales group (Gylfinir Cymru) to forward and coordinate action for this species. Breeding curlew in the UK are regarded as the bird priority as their numbers are declining quickly.
- BASC and wildfowling clubs have been working hard as part of the Greenland white-fronted goose partnership to improve the conservation status of the species which has included collecting detailed location information and assessing the quality of habitat available to them.
Via the Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust gave 18,000 euros to a project to protect the habitat and breeding grounds of the common pochard in Lithuania and a grant of £5,384 to assist with habitat restoration and improvement work on Heacham Marsh. This brings the total lent by the Wildlife Habitat Trust and Wildlife Habitat Charitable Trust to over £2 million for purchasing 4,299 acres.
- The ‘Let’s Learn Moor’ project (partly funded by legacies left to BASC) gave more than 500 schoolchildren, from 13 different schools, a chance to visit the North Yorkshire moors.
- BASC were shortlisted in the ‘outstanding contribution to conservation’ category at the Great British Shooting Awards.
- BASC supported the annual game shooting and fishing census which provided data to help support the future of shooting.
- BASC Wales presented at the Field and Stream conference on understanding conservation conflicts. This was supported by the research team providing an evidence base on conservation conflicts.
- Highlighted the importance of shooting post-Brexit in a written response to an inquiry into the government’s 25-year Environmental Plan and gave evidence to the government that shooting and conservation are vital for a ‘Green Brexit’.
- Renewed a partnership agreement with Natural England (NE) which recognises shooting’s conservation role in the countryside.
- Highlighted the upland conservation work that will continue despite many moors cancelling grouse shooting days.
- Donated £1,000 to help fund a new ‘forest classroom’ in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
- Joined forces with wildfowlers, BASC Young Shots and college students to gather plastic waste along the foreshore of Lindisfarne.
- Worked in partnership with the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) and the Irish Grouse Conservation Trust (IGCT) to deliver the 2017/18 Gamekeeping Course.
Courses, shows and events
- The ST-2 Simulator, which is the most advanced coaching simulator in the world, has helped introduce over 5,000 people to shotgun shooting throughout the UK.
- Had a huge presence at The Game Fair in Warwickshire and processed more than 500 new BASC memberships.
- Spoke to over 800 children throughout the year about wildlife management and the role of the gamekeeper at Wickcourt Farm, Farms for City Children near Gloucester.
- BASC delivered three shotgun coach courses and 16 coaching lines in 2018, introducing 2,000 people to shooting.
- BASC airgun coaching lines introduced nearly 2,700 people to airgun shooting.
- Organised predator and prey education workshops for more than 400 children in North Yorkshire.
- BASC and the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) delivered a joint course for people to improve both their shooting and shoot management skills.
- Helped raise funds for a wide range of charities including Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), Cancer Research UK and Brainwave at events across the UK.
- Helped to run the first Scottish Youth and Countryside Education Trust’s Introduction to Bushcraft Days as well a supporting the Junior Macnab Competition at the Scottish Game Fair which had 200 entries.
- Hailed the success of the inaugural Eat Game Awards (of which BASC’s Taste of Game were one of the founders) after eleven winners were announced from almost 4,000 entrants.
Organised and ran the Gamekeepers gundog classes at Crufts, the world’s largest dog show.
BASC delivered over 100 courses, an increase of 18% from the previous year.
- Ran four stalking schemes across the UK, providing stalking opportunities to over 400 members in 2018 including many first time stalkers.
- Ran the hugely successful College Clay Shoot for over 90 game and countryside students.
- As part of the “Game Changer” initiative BASC delivered over 5,000 pheasants to students, and also trained over 11,000 students and over 120 teachers to prepare and cook game.
- In partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage, Scotland’s Natural Larder attended many events, including game fairs, farmers’ markets and schools’ days to promote the connection between people and the countryside through foraged and harvested food. This included highlighting the benefits of eating game, rabbit, pigeon and duck as well as showing the necessity of pest control on the farm.
- BASC membership reached circa 155,000.
- Announced that BASC now has almost 11,000 female members, equivalent to a third of all women with a shotgun/firearm certificate in England and Wales, and the percentage of women on BASC’s governing council exceeded figures released by a government-backed review.
- Launched the new 2018 BASC Young Shots Journalist competition.
- Launched a new photo competition to celebrate dogs in the field, sponsored by Agria.