BASC has welcomed Environment Secretary Michael Gove’s support for land owners and managers who cultivate and protect habitats which encourage biodiversity.

Land is managed for shooting over two thirds of the UK’s rural landscape, which makes shooting a key force for preserving and improving biodiversity.

Across the UK, woods, hedgerows, marshes and moors are protected by those who manage land for game, benefiting a host of other species and therefore encouraging biodiversity.

In a speech delivered today, Mr Gove set out his vision on the future of the nation’s natural environment post-Brexit.

Ian Danby, BASC’s head of biodiversity projects, said: “We are pleased that this government recognises the work and skills of land owners and managers. We know that shooting occurs over two thirds of the rural landscape.

“Shooting helps controls pests and predators and that helps farming and conservation alike. Shoot providers spend £250 million on conservation each year. Those who shoot have an important part to play in the delivery of good habitats and the wildlife they support.”

In his speech, Mr Gove also referred to Defra’s 25-year Environment Plan, which will aim to deliver on the Conservative government’s manifesto commitment to ‘be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it’.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “We look forward to engaging with the government on ensuring that this plan benefits from the contribution that shooting makes and creates opportunities for it to do more.”

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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