Everyone knows that our countryside and the wildlife it supports is under increasing pressure – but how much more pressure would there be without the influence of shooting sports? Management of land and species for shooting is worth more than £250 million a year and has massive benefits for conservation; BASC strives to have this recognised by politicians, the media and the public.
One way we do this is by working with the shooting community and partners to target conservation effort on land which is shot over, in order to achieve public conservation targets. We call this programme of work Green Shoots and it is extremely successful in linking shooters and non-shooting conservation organisations for the benefit of all wildlife.
Green Shoots was launched in the House of Commons in 2000. It gave BASC the framework to record what species and habitats of national importance could be found on members’ land. Members were then given the opportunity to work with partners on projects that achieved public conservation targets. Initially information was collected in certain areas through paper surveys, and this inspired some highly successful and respected projects. Now all BASC members can provide useful information on their shooting land and the wildlife it supports by using the Green Shoots Mapping website.
Green Shoots is endorsed by Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Environment Agency (which covers England and Wales). This shows the strong support BASC and the shooting community have for their conservation efforts.
We wish to expand our Green Shoots programme and the benefits it brings to conservation and shooting sports. If you are:
- a BASC member with access to land then please add your information to the Green Shoot Mapping website to both protect and promote the sport and to benefit from the mapping services it offers you.
- a partner who wants to find out more about our Green Shoots programme then please email me.
Best regards, Ian Danby, Head of Biodiversity Projects.