Ian Bell has revealed how his father stoked the life-long passion which today saw him take up the biggest job in shooting.

“I started shooting as a youngster,” said BASC’s new chief executive, who was a Young Shot in his youth. “My dad and a few of his mates ran a rough shoot which I worked on and beat.

“I think my earliest memories are going out with my dad, wandering around feeding the birds, checking their health and just being out in the countryside with friends and family. That’s what got me hooked.

“When he deemed me old enough and competent enough, I was allowed to go out and shoot an odd day with him. From there on my love of shooting has grown.

“I’ve got to say that now I’m a passionate deerstalker, which I do more of. I’ve done a bit of wildfowling and I’ve done a lot of rough shooting. Also a bit of driven shooting.

“When my daughter is home from university she enjoys beating and my young boy, who’s 12 now, is now showing an interest in shooting as well, so it’s a bit of a family thing for us.

“I shoot because I just absolutely love the British countryside. I love eating game. It’s a wonderful food source. I also love the company, the family aspect and just the sense of general well-being it gives to those who partake in shooting. It provides fantastic opportunity.”

Mr Bell has left his job as Commander British Forces Germany to take up his new role at the head of the UK’s largest shooting organisation. While in Germany, he was president of the British Forces Germany Game Shooting Association and a long-standing member of the Defence Deer Management Organisation.

“It’s really exciting to now belong to an organisation with such a rich heritage as BASC and to be playing a role in how it is taken forward,” he added.

“It is a dream job in a field that I’m passionate about and I will be absolutely committed to representing the interests of the members.

“I’ve been a leader in one form or another since I was 18 years old in the army and I think those leadership skills translate across all different environments.

“One of the parts of this job which was majored upon me was the ability to take a strategic vision and to plan how best that can be delivered. I’ve done a lot of that in the past, so I hope that will be seen to be one of my strengths.”

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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