The chair and chief executive from Natural England, the public body responsible for protecting and improving the natural environment, have visited the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC), to discuss BASC’s conservation programmes and explore opportunities for working together.
Dave Webster, chief executive and Poul Christensen, chair of Natural England were shown the benefits of BASC’s Green Shoots programme, which is endorsed and supported by Natural England. The programme records species and habitats of national importance on land managed for shooting as well as developing habitats and projects to meet national and international conservation goals.
Prospects for future partnerships between BASC and Natural England were also discussed.
The visitors were taken to a local Green Shoots site to see work on dormouse habitats. The project in South West Cheshire has created 17km of connected hedgerows and woodlands so an existing dormouse population can expand from the Wych Valley towards the Broxton Hills, part of the Sandstone ridge.
Richard Ali, BASC chief executive, said: “BASC is committed to conservation and the fundamental relationship it has with shooting. The visit was an opportunity to see the benefits the Green Shoots programme is developing for the dormouse population in Cheshire. By building on the excellent relationship we have with Natural England we can continue to improve the diversity of wildlife and habitat throughout the UK.”
Dave Webster chief executive said: “BASC and its members are important conservation partners and we share the common aim of securing a healthy natural environment. We must all work together if we are to see the English countryside rich with wildlife. Management of land for shooting has an important part to play in achieving that objective. The BASC Green Shoots programme is an excellent example of how land managed for shooting can deliver for wildlife at a landscape-scale.”