Conservationists have recognised the vital role shooters play in managing wetlands at a special workshop held on World Wetlands Day.
The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) attended the workshop to make other delegates aware of the Green Shoots programme which is an excellent example of how the shooting community is making a big difference for wetlands in the UK.
BASC head of biodiversity projects, Ian Danby, said: “During the workshop, it was recognised that legal and responsible hunting was an appropriate use of wetlands. The shooting community manage significant chunks of designated coastal wetland in addition to extensive tracts of inland marshes and water features which have no legal protection. We have an important role to play when developing UK wetland strategies.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
• World Wetlands Day marks the anniversary of the Ramsar Convention 1971, which aims to conserve and sustainably use the world’s wetlands so that the bird life and other species they support are not lost.
• World Wetlands Day is an annual event and it is unique because wetlands are the only habitat to have a day to mark their importance and drive forward their conservation. This year’s event aimed to influence the water planning policies that will affect wetlands over the next five years.
• BASC’s Green Shoots Programme aims to integrate the knowledge and the land management of the shooting community into national conservation targets set down in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
• Green Shoots has three demonstration projects in Cheshire, North Wales and the Somerset Levels where a project officer works with BASC members and local conservation partners to meet biodiversity targets. These projects show the value of the shooting community in managing rural land where most conservation organisations have difficulty accessing and influencing.
• BASC’s Green Shoots programme is a nationally recognised example of how mobilise a section of society to deliver specific conservation actions, who have influence the management of over two thirds of the rural land area and spend over £250 million each year on conservation.