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White papers

On this page you will find published white papers from BASC. The white papers offer evidence-based policy recommendations to enhance and maximise economic, environmental and social benefits provided by shooting.

Economic and environmental benefits of lowland game shooting in the UK


Published: April 2016

This paper calls on policy makers, government, statutory agencies and conservation NGOs to recognise and support the important role landscape scale management for lowland game shooting has on providing habitat for threatened farmland birds. Stakeholders are also called upon to recognise and support the importance of the voluntary conservation work undertaken by shooters and the positive economic impact their activities can have in rural communities.



Extending the duration of firearm and shotgun certificates.


Published: September 2015

This paper calls for the extension of shotgun and firearm certificate duration from five to ten years, on the basis that such a change will improve efficiency and effectiveness within the police service, and provide an enhanced service to certificate holders without impacting public safety. Significant improvements in police licensing now allow 24/7/365 monitoring of certificate holders, meaning that risk remains low and stable over time. The paper recommends a phased introduction method of ten year certificates, which would smooth the current ‘peaks’ and ‘troughs’ in police licensing department workloads. It would also reflect a move towards compliance with the governments stance on better regulation.


The role of shooting in landscape-scale land management.


Published: March 2015

This white paper calls on national and local authorities to recognise the benefits shooting brings in areas such as conservation; crop protection and food security; wildlife management and farm business diversification. It recommends recognition of the benefits of wildlife management and pest control, development funding to help farmers to create shoots, improvements to the game-food supply chain and simplification of the general licence system which authorises the necessary control of certain bird species, such as woodpigeon which are the UK’s number one agricultural pest.


Grouse shooting and management in the United Kingdom: its value and role in the provision of ecosystem services.


Published: March 2015

This white paper looks at the positive conservation and socioeconomic contributions produced by grouse shooting and their role in supporting and improving the delivery of upland ecosystem services. It recommends support for the positive contribution grouse moor management makes to sustainably maintaining and improving upland ecosystem service provision, that stakeholders work together and engage in constructive dialogue, and that a joined-up approach be used by government, policymakers and public and private sectors to maximise benefits. It also warns of the dangers of unintended consequences to the balance of our moorland economies, ecosystems and communities from policy which is not evidence-based.


The role of societal impacts and ecosystem services in the definition of favourable conservation status.


Published: July 2014

This white paper examines how the ecosystem services provided by habitats, and the species that use them, can be used to inform decisions for protected sites. Member States have an obligation to maintain healthy populations of species, but the exact level should also take account of cultural and recreational requirements. The paper recommends that socioeconomic factors be addressed at the time of designation, and that ecosystem services be used as the most appropriate method for considering socioeconomic factors.

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