BASC has published a white paper outlining the economic and environmental benefits of lowland game shooting in the UK.
The report presents the views of the largest shooting organisation in the UK and makes three main recommendations to policy makers, government, statutory agencies and conservation NGOs.
The paper also highlights that shooters carry out 3.9 million work days of habitat and wildlife management every year with a voluntary provision of the equivalent of 3,100 full-time jobs in pest control.
In addition, it emphasises that lowland shooting has far-reaching economic effects by employing gamekeepers and support staff as well as supporting jobs in garages, accommodation and catering in the tourism off-season.
The paper has been written by BASC’s scientific advisor Dr Matt Ellis, and among its conclusions are:
- Responsible shooting, carried out in accordance with Codes of Practice, can have significant environmental and economic benefits across the lowland landscape.
- Landscape-scale management for lowland game shooting can be beneficial for a wide variety of native species including plants, butterflies and birds.
- Pest and predator control carried out, in support of lowland game shooting, helps to protect threatened farmland birds.
- Supplemental feed provided for lowland game can increase the breeding success of farmland songbirds.
- Lowland shooting supports a vibrant rural economy with far-reaching impacts throughout the supply chain.
- 70,000 workers are directly supported by lowland game shooting with additional significant benefits to the tourism industry.
- There is a rapidly growing market for the game meat provided by lowland game shooting.
Dr Ellis said: “Shooting takes place over two thirds of the rural land in the UK. This white paper provides analysis of the economic benefits of lowland shooting’s status in such activity and should be a useful tool for helping inform key decision makers.”
BASC chief executive Richard Ali said: “Policy on shooting must always be evidence-based, conform to the principles of better regulation and seek to enable and improve the benefits brought about because of shooting and its related conservation work. This white paper clearly sets out the undeniable benefits of lowland shooting to the UK’s environment and economy.”