Shooting Industry going great guns: Activity provides £3bn boost for British Economy and creates 67,000 jobs a year, research finds. By Hayley Dixon, Special Correspondent

by The Telegraph

A fantastic article from the Telegraph about the values of the shooting industry on the UK’s economy. For the full article please click on the following link by Hayley Dixon, Special Correspondent, 2 June 2024- The Telegraph

SHOOTING is worth more than £3 billion to the UK economy each year and creates 67,000 jobs, a report has found.

The most comprehensive study of the industry in a decade has also found that it provides conservation benefits for 7.6million hectares of land – almost a third of the UK. The Value of Shooting report, seen by The Telegraph, found that shooting contributes £3.3 billion a year to the economy, an increase from £2 billion in 2014.

As the countryside becomes a central battleground in the general election campaign, the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) said the research shows a prospective government the “key role” the sector plays.

Of the approximately 24.5 million hectares of land in the UK, about 7.6 million are “subject to habitat and wildlife management and other conservation work carried out as a result of shooting”.

“Habitat management and wildlife and conservation activity by the shooting community has a significant beneficial impact on the countryside,” according to the report by Cognisense, a market research and data analytics firm.

“Furthermore, farmers who appreciate shooting are encouraged to improve biodiversity, and in consequence where shooting takes place there is likely to be a more biodiverse countryside.”

Two-thirds of the UK’s shooting providers controlled pests and predators, and about half managed woodlands or put out feed for songbirds over the winter months, the survey found.

They also carried out activities including litter picking and wetland restoration, with the value of the conservation work estimated at £500 million, equal to 26,000 full-time jobs.

“In effect, shooting provides a huge army of conservationists – people who actually go out into the countryside, work to improve it and invest a huge amount of their own time and money on projects,” the report, which is due to be released tomorrow, noted.

It was estimated that including the indirect contributions, the value of shooting could be as much as £9.3 billion, with England benefitting from 89 per cent of that economic activity, followed by Scotland at almost 10 per cent and Wales at close to 2 per cent. Tim Scrivener, a photographer from Lincolnshire, joined two shoots for a total of 59 days last season picking up the shot game with his dogs. He told the report authors: “The social benefits of shooting are immeasurable.”

Ian Bell, the chief executive of BASC, one of the 24 countryside organisations which commissioned the report, said: “This is undoubtedly an important election for shooting and conservation and this report underlines to any prospective government the key role the shooting sector plays in the economy and the conservation and management of the countryside.”