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Shooting & conservation

Shooting is worth £2 billion annually to the rural economy and supports 74,000 jobs. Over 600,000 people shoot and over 2 million hectares are actively managed for shooting in the UK creating proven conservation benefits and preserving important habitats. Yet shooting faces regular threats whether through restrictions on the guns we use, the ammunition we fire, the birds we rear, the land we use or our very presence in the countryside we love. The Countryside Alliance works to promote and protect the enormous contribution traditional shooting activity makes to the economy, communities and the environment.

Our public opinion research drives our campaign and ensures that we know which buttons to press to address public and political opinion. Our hugely successful Game-to-Eat campaign, which has increased sales of healthy, environmentally friendly game by more than 60 per cent, is a direct outcome of our research and hard work. Other Alliance projects, include getting more young people involved in shooting and National Shooting Week, which has introduced thousands of newcomers to the sport, all help to make shooting accessible and create new attitudes towards shooting.

The Countryside Alliance has the experience and the expertise to fight the big battles for the future of shooting in Westminster, Brussels and the devolved parliaments, as well as in the national and local media.


Campaigns - Shooting:

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Air gun licensing is "unnecessary" and will not cut gun crime

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Scottish Parliament’s intention to continue towards licensing air weapons, despite evidence that such a move will do little to reduce crime whilst increasing police costs, is disappointing, says the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA). Yesterday (23 March) the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Regeneration Committee published its report on the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. It suggests that the estimated 500,000 air weapons held across Scotland should be licensed, despite a warning from the Association of Scottish Police Superintendents that licensing would be unwieldy and expensive.

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Good luck in International Competition, Tim Kneale

Monday, 23 March 2015

Double trap clay shooter Tim Kneale updated us ahead of flying to the ISSF World Cup, writing: "I am flying out to Al Ain, UAE, for the next round of the ISSF World Cup series to build on what was a disappointing result in Mexico 10 or so days ago. Two bad rounds cost me really, but a mid-table finish wasn't too bad. A lot of targets have been shot since in preparations for Al Ain and again some more changes to technique and the handling of my gun. I have had it five months now and I'm still learning new things about the control and feel of it.  It just goes to show how every gun is different! Looking forward to some sun and good International Competition again!" Good luck Tim!

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Jack in action

Game to Eat campaigner Jack is to walk 100km for a great cause - back him!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Countryside Alliance employee and Game to Eat champion, Jack Knott, is to walk 100km London to Brighton in aid of The Countryside Alliance Foundation. Jack said, ‘Running and myself have never been the best of friends, and I don’t think I will be too keen on walking after this monumental challenge. If the idea of walking 100km in around 22 hours straight leaves you with a sour taste, imagine having to get up and over the South Downs at 4 o’clock in the morning! Luckily, I am undertaking the challenge for the worthiest of causes and one that I know makes a massive difference to the future of the countryside.’ Please donate just a little bit to a fantastic charity and one that aims to secure and protect the British countryside for future generations. Back Jack for his challenge, which will take place on 23-24 May!

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Gastronomic delights with Game to Eat's new venison burger film

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The Countryside Alliance's game promotion campaign, Game to Eat, has released a new short film in conjunction with the Wild Game Co, to promote game and show how easy it is to cook. The film shows the chefs at the Wild Game Co cooking a venison cheeseburger and contains enough sizzle, loving close-ups and slow motion to really make the mouth water. Watch the film below and click get the recipe here. 

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Entries are open now for the annual Whitfield Clay Shoot

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Entries are open now for the Annual Whitfield Clay Shoot, held on the Whitfield Estate near Hexham, which last year raised more than £35,000 for good causes.
The event, which boasts 10 different simulated game flushes, takes place on 9 and 10 May 2015 and there are still places for your team to take part. Click here to fill out the entry form.
One of the projects helped by last year's event was the rebuilding of a Victorian suspension bridge in Northumberland (pictured below).

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Increased firearms fees and updated system are welcome

Thursday, 12 March 2015

The Countryside Alliance welcomes the news of a proportionate rise in firearms fees, due to come into force on 6 April. An order laid before Parliament today proposes that the fee for a shotgun certificate should increase from £50 to £79.50 with balanced increases in other fees. It follows a consultation in which 73% of respondents supported an increase in licence fees.

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Updating you on our work in Europe

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: I was in Brussels last week at a meeting of European fieldsports body, FACE, of which the Countryside Alliance is an active member. I am honoured to be FACE's UK Chairman and to represent British sporting interests at the highest level and I can feed back some interesting points from the meeting. I have some good news to report in that the move to reopen the Firearms Directive, being pushed by some as a means to reduce trafficking of illegal firearms, has drifted in the last couple of months.

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Lobby your parliamentary candidates - do they oppose a ban on lead shot?

Monday, 2 March 2015

The Countryside Alliance has launched a new campaign asking rural voters to contact their Parliamentary candidates ahead of the General Election on 7th May. Take part here. This online e-lobby reads: "Congratulations on your selection. As a voter in your constituency I wanted to draw your attention to Countryside Alliance's General Election Manifesto and ask you whether you are supportive of the Alliance's manifesto and its campaigns." Please let us know the feedback you get from your candidates - contact You can download our General Election Manifesto, in which we oppose restrictions on lead shot and the re-opening of the EU Firearms Directive,  here.

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27th June - National Ladies' Shooting Day

Monday, 2 March 2015

The UK's largest ladies shooting Club - The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club is organising the first ever history making, record breaking National Ladies' Shooting Day on 27th June.  This national day will see a series of events across the country, from Cumbria down to Sussex and everywhere in between, where ladies are encouraged to come to try their hand at clay shooting. For each lady who comes along, the Club will donate £1 towards the GB Olympic Shooting Team's training and will be raising money for The Eve Appeal, a women's cancer charity. They’ve also teamed up with the Sport England's #ThisGirlCan campaign and are on a mission to get as many people as possible trying out the sport.

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Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle

"Labour Protecting Animals" pledge - we seek clarification

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

As reported in last week's issue, the Labour Party has launched a "Protecting Animals Pledge" which makes some confusing statements on issues including "shooting estates" as well as snares and raptors. Countryside Alliance Director of Shooting Adrian Blackmore has since written to Shadow Environment Secretary Maria Eagle MP asking for clarification on several of the issues raised. Adrian has written: "We were...surprised and confused by your focus on shooting and your Pledge to "reduce the suffering of animals on shooting estates". Shooting in the UK has over 600,000 participants and prides itself on the highest environmental and welfare standards. We are very concerned about the assumption implied by the pledge that shooting is intrinsically 'cruel', and are confused by your classification.

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