More than 1,000 areas of land used for shooting have been signed up to the British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s (BASC) Green Shoots Mapping programme, a secure online system which records species and habitats of national importance found on land managed for shooting.
The mapping programme, created in 2012, asks BASC members to provide information about the wildlife and habitats found on their shooting land. This information helps create a national picture of the environment which is valuable to conservation. BASC can use the information to develop projects which contribute to national and international conservation goals.
Green Shoots Mapping now includes 1,195 areas of land used for shooting which cover a total of 2,700 square kilometres of land – an area bigger than Oxfordshire or Derbyshire. More than 600 BASC members have put information into the system.
The programme includes shoots and records of wildlife stretching from the Shetland Islands to Cornwall.
In total more than 31,000 records of wildlife have been generated – giving a more complete picture of the population range of wildlife.
The most recorded bird species are currently woodcock and mallard – over 80 per cent of shoots have them. The most recorded mammals are brown hare and roe deer – approximately 70 per cent of shoots have them. The programme also features some rare records of species like turtle dove in Northern England.
Green Shoots Mapping also allows members to create individual maps which they can download and share. These maps can be put to a number of uses, for example helping people know exactly where drives are, where there are safe routes on and off mountains and saltmarshes or to confirm the boundaries of their shooting land.
Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: “Reaching 1,000 shoots is a significant milestone and we expect many more BASC members to sign up to Green Shoots Mapping. Together we can create a knowledge-base of wildlife information across the UK that governments and conservation agencies recognise and want to use. It is quite simple really, people who shoot have the knowledge and Green Shoots Mapping is an easy way to record it and help boost shooting’s contribution to conservation.”
Davy Stinson, BASC Council member, said: “Shooting’s contribution to conservation is huge. Recently released figures on the value of shooting show that shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area and shoot providers spend nearly £250 million a year on conservation. Green Shoots Mapping helps us to demonstrate that contribution.”
For more information phone Ian Danby on 01244 573024.