A Brussels-based wildlife expert visited the head office of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) near Wrexham to share his knowledge with staff. Gabor von Bethlenfalvy, conservation project manager for the Federation of Associations for Hunting and Conservation of the EU (FACE), met staff at BASC’s offices at Marford Mill, Rossett.
The widely travelled ecologist gave a briefing to staff on EU biodiversity structure and talked about the project work being undertaken by FACE. He spent time in different departments learning about conservation work carried out by the UK’s largest shooting organisation. He also went out with BASC’s Cheshire biodiversity project officer Ben Gregory to look at a number of projects on a BASC member’s land aimed at the conservation of barn owls, water voles and otters. He went on to give a lecture to a group of students at Manchester University.
Mr von Bethlenfalvy, who holds a Masters degree in ecology from the University of Zurich and did an internship in the European Parliament, said: “Society benefits from the services that ecosystems and biodiversity provide, such as water purification, carbon storage, food supply and recreation. The seven million shooters of Europe contribute a lot of time, money and effort to conserving biodiversity and ecosystems. It is one of our strong contributions towards society and it needs to be communicated more widely.”
John Swift, who is BASC’s chief executive and one of FACE’s vice presidents, said: “2010 is the official year of biodiversity so we were delighted to welcome Gabor, who has wide experience of high level conservation and biodiversity strategy and what country sports need to do to show they are part of the solution.”