Going shooting during Covid-19

Conor O'Gorman

Conor O'Gorman

Conor O’Gorman has worked in a variety of conservation, policy and campaigning roles at BASC over the last 16 years. A zoology graduate with a PhD awarded for grey partridge research, he has over 25 years’ experience in conservation and land management.

BASC’s head of policy and campaigns, Dr Conor O’Gorman, provides a snapshot on the latest situation for shooting during the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK.

The phased lifting of Covid-19 restrictions has been far more complicated than anyone could have envisaged, given the relative simplicity of placing the whole country into lockdown in March.

There are now different rules, guidance and advice for recreational activities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

For shooting activities the latest BASC advice, based on our interpretation of Government rules and guidance, is as follows:

England

Outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, can take place. There are no restrictions on how far you can travel but overnight stays are not permitted. Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational and essential pest control and recreational deer stalking.

Click here to download the latest BASC guidance deer stalking, pest control and game management.

Click here for the latest Government guidance for England.

Wales

Outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, may take place locally, defined as not travelling further than five miles. Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational pest control and recreational deer stalking.

The essential control of pest birds and mammals is a reasonable excuse to travel further than your local area.

Click here for the latest Government guidance for Wales.

Scotland

Outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, may take place locally, which has been defined as ‘broadly within five miles’ of home – and in a solitary manner. Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational pest control and recreational deer stalking.

The essential control of pest birds and mammals is a reasonable excuse to travel further than your local area.

Click here for the latest Government guidance for Scotland.

Northern Ireland

Outdoor recreational activities, including shooting, can take place. Shooting activities include target shooting, recreational and essential pest control.

Click here for the latest Government guidance for Northern Ireland.

Prospects for the game shooting season

Please be reassured that the game shooting season is going ahead.

Shoots and shooting-related businesses have been developing plans to ensure that social distancing guidance can be followed as much as is possible.

Click here to download the latest BASC advice on prospects for the game shooting season.

Personal responsibility

As has been the case since lockdown began in March individual discretion and common sense still applies.  We each have a personal responsibility to keep up to date with Government rules and guidance as it relates to our shooting activities.

We have all witnessed chaotic scenes in our local areas of irresponsible people showing complete disregard for public safety and the environment.

We can each be proud of the fact that up and down the country the shooting community has demonstrated resilience and acted responsibly in these challenging times.

Further BASC advice

The situation keeps changing so keep up to date with the latest BASC advice on our dedicated webpage found here.  

If you are a member of BASC and have any concerns or queries about going shooting whilst the Covid-19 restrictions remain we would be delighted to help you. Please email covid-19@basc.org.uk