BASC’s chief executive Richard Ali has addressed the national conference on uplands management, emphasising the UK’s unique uplands and the important role wildlife management and shooting will continue to play in their future.
He said not only was shooting a part of the heritage of the uplands; it is part of its innovative future.
He told the conference: “The uplands need management. Land which is unmanaged soon becomes a degraded asset. Biodiversity is harmed. Tourism is harmed. People leave.”
“Shooting and conservation are inseparable. After all, much of the land in the UK is shot over. We believe in the importance of conservation and in both helping to uncover the evidence, and in using that evidence to develop policies that make a balanced and sustainable future more, not less, likely.”
He added: “If we are serious about creating that sustainable, balanced future for our uplands then shooting and conservation must be included as a positive part of that equation. It is a real part of the solution and can help rural enterprises and rural communities diversify.”
Mr Ali told delegates at the conference about BASC’s Green Shoots online mapping tool and explained how BASC members can use the system to provide records of wildlife and habitats and create custom maps of their shoots as part of their shoot management.
He spoke out against illegal raptor persecution, saying: “No ifs, no buts; we condemn it unreservedly,” also calling for “all those with an interest in the uplands to come together, agree common ground, and develop workable and pragmatic solutions that will deliver a balanced future where sustainable co-existence is the norm not the exception.”
“No-one should put short-term campaigning above long-term success. “