Phacelia by Chris Bright of Bright SeedsBASC encourages all shooters to take part in a public opinion survey on EU legislation designed to protect nature.

The European Commission is asking people for their views on the role of the birds and habitats directives in protecting nature through a short online multi-choice questionnaire.

BASC believes that the directives are fit for purpose and will help ensure the continued protection of the natural environment for the next generation of shooters.

The directives have been in place for decades and recognise the legitimacy of shooting. Our quarry lists and seasons are influenced by the directives and they allow a flexible approach to the necessary all-year round control of pest bird species, such as woodpigeon, the UK’s number one agricultural pest.

The UK’s best wildfowling marshes and its iconic grouse moors exist largely thanks to shooting interests and they continue to be protected from unsustainable development by the directives as part of the Natura 2000 network.

Shooting and conservation go hand in hand and UK shooters spend £250 million annually on conservation. Shooters spend more money protecting nature than any of the UK’s conservation charities. But these are facts that are often missed by policy makers.

BASC advice on completing the questionnaire


There are concerns that this review could lead to a merging of the the directives which would lay them open to wholesale amendment and could weaken protection for nature – including quarry species – and thus have a negative impact on shooting and reduce its conservation benefits.

It’s important that we get a good response to the Commission’s questionnaire in favour of the directives in their current form. Weakening the protection they give nature could impact badly on shooting as well as providing opportunities for our enemies to weaken or remove the recognition European law gives to sustainable shooting.

Click here to start the questionnaire

When completing the questionnaire please make sure you tick on the option “hunting” as your main field of activity or interest. BASC has provided advice below on answering questions 4-9. These answers will help reduce the risk of the directives being  opened up for amendment. For all other questions please answer as you feel best. If you are not sure each question has the option “I don’t know”.

4. Are the Directives’ strategic objectives appropriate for protecting nature in the EU?
Please choose the option “appropriate”.

5. Is the approach set out in the Directives an appropriate way to protect species and habitats in the EU?
Please choose the option “appropriate”.

6. Have the Directives been effective in protecting nature?
Please choose the option “somewhat appropriate”.

6b. If you think the Directives have not been effective or have only been somewhat effective, is this mainly due to:
Please choose the option “problems with implementation”.

7. How important is the Natura 2000 network for protecting threatened species and habitats in the EU?
Please choose the option “important”.

8. How do the costs of implementing the Birds and Habitats Directives compare with the benefits from their implementation?
Please choose the option “The benefits of implementation are somewhat greater than the costs”.

9. While the Directives are primarily focused on conserving nature, to what extent have the following been taken into account in implementing them?
For economic please choose the option “enough”.
For cultural, regional and local please choose the option “not enough”.

Click here to start the questionnaire

When you have completed the questionnaire why not encourage your friends and contacts to do the same? Use the buttons below to share this page.

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