Shooting provides £1.1 billion in natural capital benefits

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BASC has published its inaugural assessment of the natural capital benefits of shooting.

Natural capital is the sum of financial and social benefits we get from our natural environment. The concept has increasingly shaped both international and national environmental policies. It is at the core of the government’s England Environmental Improvement Plan and the forthcoming equivalent in Scotland.

BASC’s natural capital benefits of shooting report, compiled in 2023 in partnership with the Economics for the Environment Consultancy and Strutt & Parker, sets out the recreational value of UK shooting, alongside other benefits for society and the environment. 

The report provides UK-wide and home country values under four overarching groups of benefits:

  • Carbon sequestration – valued at £382 million
  • Public health savings – valued at £64 million
  • Recreation – valued at £607 million
  • Food and forestry – valued at £100 million

Combined together, the benefits are in excess of £1.1 billion per annum.

Commenting, BASC Head of Biodiversity Ian Danby said: “This report has revealed the widespread natural capital benefits provided by shooting for society. Shooting is providing carbon benefits through habitat creation, management and protection. It is improving health and wellbeing for the public and participants in shooting. It is providing a recreational benefit for both those who shoot and those that do not. And it is providing food and materials by supporting farm and forestry efficiency, as well as putting low fat high protein meat onto dinner tables.

“What is striking is how balanced the public benefits from shooting are. Many forms of recreation come with health and wellbeing benefits, but how many also give society a substantial carbon benefit, result in a sustainable food supply and help our farms and foresters produce food and materials? In this respect shooting is unique.

“At BASC, we are focused on enhancing those benefits so that sustainable shooting will provide more for current and future generations.”

Find more information and read the report in full here.