The last day of the season is the beaters’ day on many shoots, when those people who have worked throughout the season take their turn with a gun.
Research undertaken in 20142 shows that shooting is worth around £2billion to the UK economy, it plays a vital part in rural Britain and supports 74,000 full-time jobs.
Around 170,000 people shoot in the South West, ploughing £140m into the local economy3.
Adrian Blackmore, director of shooting for the Countryside Alliance, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people, from all walks of life, are expected to turn out across the UK on Saturday to mark the end of the season. We have a really vibrant and inclusive shooting community in the UK and their contribution to the countryside is of immense importance.
“Shooting benefits rural businesses both directly and indirectly in the South West, and helps sustain many communities. It can make all the difference between profit and loss for some rural enterprises, and it is thanks to shooting that many communities are kept economically viable outside traditional tourist seasons.”
Another great benefit of the shooting industry is its end product – game in its many forms. Game is wild, natural and free-range and if you are looking for something low in fat and cholesterol, game is a delicious and healthy alternative to many other red meats4.
For further information, contact the Countryside Alliance head of media Charlotte Cooper on 07500 834163 or [email protected]
Notes to journalists
• 1With the exception of duck and goose below mean high water, the pheasant and partridge seasons are the last to end on the 1 February each year. As that date falls on a Sunday this year, no organised shoots will take place.
• 2The Value of Shooting’ is a report by PACEC into the economic and environmental impact of sporting shooting and can be read in full here: http://www.shootingfacts.co.uk/
• 3Other figures for the South West include that 1,500,000 shooting days are estimated to have taken place in 2014/15 and there are 10,000 shooting providers. The equivalent of 10,000 full-time jobs are provided by shooting in the South West, of which the equivalent of 2,200 are in conservation. (PACEC report 2014).
• 4See http://www.gametoeat.co.uk/article/nutritional-facts for more information.