People know that our countryside, and the wildlife it supports, is under increasing pressure – but how much more pressure would there be without the influence of shooting sports? Nearly £250 million is spent on conservation every year. BASC strives to have this recognised by politicians, the media and the public.
One way we do this is by working with the shooting community and partners to target conservation efforts on land which is shot over, in order to achieve public conservation targets. We call this programme of work Green Shoots and it is extremely successful in linking shooters and non-shooting conservation organisations for the benefit of all wildlife.
Green Shoots was launched in the House of Commons in 2000. It gave BASC the framework to record what species and habitats of national importance could be found on members’ land. Members were then given the opportunity to work with partners on projects that achieved public conservation targets.
Initially information was collected in certain areas through paper surveys and this inspired some highly successful and respected projects. Now all BASC members can provide useful information on their shooting land and the wildlife it supports by using the Green Shoots Mapping website.
Green Shoots is endorsed by Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Environment Agency (which covers England and Wales). This shows the strong support BASC and the shooting community have for their conservation efforts.
We wish to expand our Green Shoots programme and the benefits it brings to conservation and shooting sports. If you are:
BASC has created a unique mechanism for involving the full range of the shooting community in mainstream conservation. We did this as the land that shooters have access to and their passion for a healthy environment to shoot in make them an invaluable partner to the conservation world.
The first step is for members to tell BASC what species and habitats use the land they have access to for shooting. More than 7,700 sq km of shooting land has been surveyed by BASC members since 2000 and the number of biological records generated exceeds 52,000. In the past, members gave the wildlife information by responding to postal surveys. Now any member can provide information through Green Shoots Mapping, BASC’s unique website for members, which you can access here.
The majority of members allow us to share the wildlife information which enables us to build partnerships with other conservation organisations, both statutory and voluntary. These partners realise the benefits of working with those who shoot and are keen to work actively with us. The result is that BASC is able to offer conservation projects to members which will improve land for shooting and conservation in addition to achieving conservation targets. A win-win situation in itself but even more so as these conservation organisations then willingly promote the value of the shooting community for conservation.
The Green Shoots projects pages give an overview of what we are working on with members and partners. Please do look at these pages but, most of all, use Green Shoots Mapping and give us the information to show the value of shooting for conservation.