Shooting and Conservation
Shooting and Conservation.
It was David Bellamy who remarked that flying over the British Isles you could easily spot the areas where field sports flourished – it was where there was still a patchwork of woods, hedges and small fields. The landscape which we cherish is manmade and it can only be maintained through man’s efforts.
Game management and conservation shape and enhance our landscape. Wildlife thrives where land is managed for shooting. Over a million people are involved in shooting; many more enjoy the end product as consumers of pheasants, partridges and other game. Moreover, shooting makes a substantial contribution to the rural economy often at times and in places where other income is scarce.
This is something from which we can all benefit. Whether you go to the country for recreation or simply view it from the window of a car or train, the landscape which you enjoy owes much to the care of the shooting community.
In the UK today:
· 480,000 people shoot live quarry
· Shooting supports the equivalent of 70,000 full time jobs
· Shooters spend £2 billion each year on goods and services
· Shooting is worth £1.6 billion to the UK economy
· Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the rural land area
· Two million hectares are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting
· Shooter providers spend £250 million a year on conservation
· Shooters spend 2.7 million work days on conservation the equivalent of 12,000 full-time jobs
(PACEC in 2006)
We must never be complacent about the future of shooting. Shooting and shoot management practices will be judged by the way participants and providers behave. Our sport is under constant and detailed scrutiny and we must demonstrate that we conduct it to high standards.