Labour’s backbench spokesman on shooting and fishing, Martin Salter MP, has shot his first brace of pheasants.

The Reading West MP has long supported shooting and its social and economic benefits, but this was the first time he’d been game shooting himself. Mr Salter shot two pheasants while out ‘rough shooting’ (1) with TV chef Mike Robinson in Berkshire. The total bag for the day was eight birds.

Martin Salter said: ”I really enjoyed my day’s shooting with Mike Robinson and my colleagues from BASC in the beautiful Berkshire countryside. Rough shooting is much harder than it looks but it was good fun and helped me learn more about the sport.”

Mike Robinson runs his own restaurant and game and wild food cookery school in Berkshire. He is a regular presenter on UKTV’s Great Food Live and BBC 2’s Saturday Kitchen. Mike is also a member of council of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

As National Taste of Game week gets underway (November 15-22) Mike Robinson said: “As a chef and because of my work with BASC I’m always keen to promote the eating of game. It’s a much underrated and underused food source and the more we can publicise the benefits of eating game, as well as maintaining a healthier balance to wildlife, the better”.

Mr Salter offered his support to the National Taste of Game week campaign and highlighted the importance of the link between game shooting and game as food: ”Shooting live quarry is totally justified as the products end up on the table or in the shops as food.”

Shooting puts £1.6 billion pounds into the UK economy each year and provides the equivalent of 70,000 full time jobs (2) but Mr Salter was also keen to point out that shooting also helps to shape and manage two-thirds of Britain’s rural land: ”There is no doubt that the British countryside benefits from having land managed for shooting rather than denuded of all cover by intensive farming”


(1) Rough shooting or ‘walked-up’ shooting involves one of more people who flush quarry such as pheasant as they walk through cover.

(2) The figures quoted come from the independently reviewed PACEC report (The Economic and Environmental Impact of Sporting Shooting – 2006) which looked at the economic and environmental impact of shooting in the UK. Full details can be found online at

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