THE importance of shooting and fishing was highlighted at a rural reception hosted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Angling Trust at the Liberal Democrats’ 2017 Conference in Bournemouth.
Speaking shortly after conference passed a ‘Natural Environment Policy’, Alistair Carmichael MP applauded the work of both BASC and the Angling Trust.
Mr Carmichael, MP for Orkney and Shetland, said: “We understand that the rural environment isn’t something that just happens. It is there because of farmers, gamekeepers and those involved in the fishing industry. Your interests will always have a willing audience with the Liberal Democrats.”
Garry Doolan, BASC’s head of press relations, said: “The rural reception continues to be popular at conference and is a fantastic opportunity for BASC and the Angling Trust to highlight the role of organisations with a stake in the health and prosperity of our countryside.
“Mr Carmichael was very positive about BASC’s work, which illustrates the cross party support we strive for at the association. BASC continues to work with all political parties to represent shooting’s interests, whether that’s at Westminster, during conference season or at a more local level.”
Peter Glenser, BASC chairman, said: “The association ensures that politicians and other policy makers never lose sight of shooting’s massive contribution to the management of the countryside. People who shoot spend 3.9 million work days on conservation – the equivalent of 16,000 full-time jobs and shoot providers spend nearly £250 million a year on conservation.”
David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s head of marine, said: “There are three million anglers in the UK, but fishing is about more than just catching fish. Angling provides a huge number of well-documented benefits, including personal health and well-being and a major contribution to conservation and the economy.”
BASC and the Angling Trust will also be holding events at the Labour conference in Brighton and the Conservative conference in Manchester.