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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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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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Gamekeepers and other non-agricultural occupants of tied housing - a survey

Friday, 20 February 2015

For the gamekeeper being made redundant, retiring, or simply losing their job due to circumstance, housing is usually the most important concern. Harrison Riddle, a keeper's son, has drawn up a short questionnaire on the subject as part of his dissertation at Harper Adams University. We join the Gamekeepers Welfare Trust in supporting this study and urge participation. 

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Labour party animal pledge singles out "shooting estates"

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Labour Party has used the tenth anniversary of the Hunting Act to launch its "Labour Protecting Animals" pledge. The pledge is light on detail and skates over several issues, including "defending" the Hunting Act, commenting: "Only Labour can protect the Hunting Act because Labour is the only major political party committed to defending it." Interesting that a pledge to do nothing now passes muster. We have concerns about the wording of the aspect of the party's pledge dedicated "to reducing animal cruelty on shooting estates," saying it will "Tackle wildlife crime and reduce animal cruelty on shooting estates." Why shooting estates, specifically? You can't help but feel that Labour Party class warfare is alive and well.

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9-10 May - "High Birds in May" - the Whitfield Annual Clay Shoot, Northumberland

Friday, 13 February 2015

Saturday May 9th & Sunday May 10th 2015 - the Whitfield Annual Clay Shoot at the beautiful Whitfield Estate in Northumberland. This event is a fundraiser for several charities including the Countryside Alliance. Read on for details.

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Firearms Licencing Survey in Beds, Cambs, Herts - please take part by 31 March

Monday, 2 February 2015

Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary are working together in a number of policing areas in order to deliver a more efficient and cost effective service. One of the areas under consideration is Firearms and Explosive Licensing: applications, renewals, online payments and other related enquires.

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Livelihoods, raptors and the shooting industry

Friday, 16 January 2015

The illegal killing of birds of prey is about the most selfish crime it is possible to commit because even if there are short term benefits for the preservation of game (and those benefits are as likely to be perceived as real) they will always be outweighed by the long term damage to the shooting industry as a whole. That is why the Alliance has no hesitation in condemning an Aberdeenshire gamekeeper who was sentenced to four months in prison earlier this week for four offences including the killing of a goshawk.

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New approach to ACPO firearms campaign

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Countryside Alliance have agreed a joint letter to all firearms licence holders clarifying the recent ACPO firearms security campaign as a result of concerns raised by thousands of Countryside Alliance supporters and licence holders. The ACPO campaign was launched on 13 October announcing spot checks on licensees and urging the public to use a dedicated Crimestoppers line to report signs of “radicalism, extremism and vulnerability to terrorism” among gun owners. The Alliance was concerned that the move went beyond the scope of changes to Home Office guidance which had been agreed by shooting organisations and therefore encouraged our members and supporters to lobby their MPs for clarification. Following a meeting between the Alliance, the Home Office and ACPO in Downing Street on 24 October a new approach was agreed.

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New firearms guidance from the Home Office - our advice

Monday, 13 October 2014

Shotgun and firearm certificate holders have a legal responsibility to ensure that their guns are always kept securely, so as to prevent possession by unauthorised persons. The Countryside Alliance fully supports this responsibility, one which is taken very seriously by the overwhelming majority of shooters. From 15th October the police will be checking that guns are being securely stored, by way of unannounced visits to certificate holders. New Guidance from the Home Office has been published as follows:

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