Value of shooting praised by Environment Secretary at Conservative Party Conference

22The Secretary of State for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs paid tribute to BASC and the importance of shooting at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.

Speaking at a rural reception hosted by BASC and the Angling Trust, Andrea Leadsom MP praised the contribution shooting makes to the economy and all it does for the environment.

Speaking about the government’s long term plans for the natural environment and stressing the importance of nature, the EFRA Secretary spoke of “reconnecting with the great outdoors”.

She finished by saying that BASC has “our thanks, appreciation and support”.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser thanked the Secretary of State for the government’s support and spoke of shooting’s commitment to conservation saying that: “Land managed for shooting is rich in biodiversity and would look very different if left.”

He also welcomed the Secretary of State’s vision for getting more young people involved in outdoor pursuits,adding that: “Shooting is far away from video games and mobile phones. We saw this in the recent Jamboree in Essex where 7,000 scouts and guides enjoyed a shooting lesson. Shooting is about teaching young people about responsibility for themselves and others”.

He finished by highlighting the “fantastic” new gun making talent and technology emerging in the UK as “something we should be proud of”.

Sophie Hutchinson, BASC’s political affairs manager, said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State has reaffirmed the government’s support for shooting and the vital conservation work that goes with it. We will continue to work with her Department to ensure that shooting is represented in parliament.”

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