Shooting conservationists from across Europe have met at the BASC head office to assess hunting’s contribution to biodiversity and its role in the EU’s conservation strategy.
The working group is run by FACE, which represents European hunting associations, and advises them on their biodiversity manifesto and its annual review. These show how hunters tackle the challenges highlighted by the EU biodiversity strategy and draws upon 185 case studies that demonstrate how shooting benefits wildlife and habitat.
The UK is particularly successful in bringing together shooting and conservation and BASC’s head of biodiversity, Ian Danby, who represents UK shooters on the working group and hosted meeting said; “The working group draws together fantastic expertise on conservation and shooting across Europe, from Greece to Finland and many countries in-between. We all share a similar goal, to help shooting and hunting make the best contribution they can to conservation and to communicate the immense value of it to politicians and partner organisations.”
Charlotte Simon, nature policy officer from FACE said; “The Biodiversity Manifesto is a key tool for communicating the value of hunting to the EU commission, decision makers, the general public and member states. The messages in the manifesto and the case studies we have collected are equally useful for hunters to use in their own countries.”
BASC vice-chairman Mike Sherman said; “It’s a privilege for BASC to host a meeting like this and reflects the high regard for our contribution to bio-diversity in the UK. It also shows how effectively the association is supporting shooting at the European level.”
While the European delegates were at Marford Mill they were given the opportunity to try wildfowling as guests of the Dee Wildfowlers and Wetlands Management Club. None of the guests had shot wildfowl in this way before and it was hugely appreciated, especially by Gert Michiels from the Flemish Hunting Association who shot is first-ever duck under the supervision of an experienced Dee wildfowler.