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Shooting is worth £1.6 billion annually to the rural economy and supports 70,000 jobs. Nearly half a million people shoot live quarry and over 2 million hectares are actively managed for shooting in the UK. 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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Barney explains why we must act on hen harriers

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: There are hundreds of thousands of hen harriers in the world. Hundreds of pairs breed in Scotland, dozens in Wales, but very few in England. There is nothing new about the lack of breeding hen harriers in England, they have been very rare for a hundred years or more. Nor is there any doubt about the original reason for their absence as they have never been popular either with gamekeepers or poultry farmers and, as a ground nesting species, are particularly vulnerable to persecution and predation.

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Good luck, Commonwealth shooters!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The Commonwealth Games are now underway in Glasgow following a spectacular opening ceremony yesterday. The shooting competitions begin at the Barry Buddon Centre on Friday 24th July with a packed day including the Women's Skeet gold and bronze medal competitions. The schedule is here. Good luck to all home nations athletes, including Countryside Alliance staff member and Team England member Geri Buckley and double trap world champion Tim Kneale, representing the Isle of Man, who have both been sharing their thoughts with us in the lead up to the Games. Check the shooting page of our website for more, and for updates on results.

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Sign the e-petition asking for hen harrier joint recovery plan publication

Monday, 21 July 2014

An epetition has been launched by the GWCT entitled "Hen Harrier Joint Recovery Plan - publish it". The e-petition is aimed at DEFRA and states: "There are thousands of square miles of suitable habitat, but very few breeding pairs of hen harriers in England. If the remaining chicks die, the hen harrier will effectively be extinct as a breeding species in England. Defra said it would stop extinctions like this. In August 2012 Defra asked moor owners, gamekeepers and conservation groups, including the RSPB, to work together and write a single plan to restore England’s precious hen harrier. They reviewed the evidence and scientific literature to prepare their joint plan. Since January 2014 Defra could have published the plan; but has not. For the sake of the hen harrier, Defra must resist external pressure to meddle with the plan. England’s hen harrier population is too fragile to wait any longer. You have it in your gift to save the English hen harrier and return it across our skies. Do it. Be brave and publish the hen harrier recovery plan today – the clock is ticking." Sign the e-petition today and please encourage others to do likewise

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Shooting generates £2bn, boosts conservation and provides jobs

Monday, 7 July 2014

Shooting is worth £2 billion a year to the UK economy and provides significant conservation benefits according to the results of independent research released today (click here) by leading shooting and countryside organisations, including the Countryside Alliance.

The figures are outlined in a new report – The Value of Shooting – conducted by Cambridge-based Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC). It is the most comprehensive research into the economic, environmental and social contributions of shooting ever undertaken in the UK.

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Buy your 2014/15 shooting badge & get your sweepstake card

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Countryside Alliance has unveiled its new season shooting badges, this year in duck egg blue. The new badges come in a solid colour Season badge (£100) and smaller, camouflage Supporter badge (£15) and are a sure way of wearing your support for shooting. This is the 14th year we have unveiled a new colour shooting campaign badge in what has become an extremely collectable series. Buy yours here and read on to order your sweepstake cards.

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Proposed Airgun Licensing in Scotland – what will it mean for you?

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Scotland's Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill MSP, last week announced an Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill to licence the 500,000 air weapons he estimates are used in Scotland. Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jamie Stewart has said: “The Scottish Countryside Alliance has lobbied hard on this point. We do not believe lower-powered air rifles need to be licensed as the vast majority of those who hold and use them, as part of an organised pest control exercise or who shoot recreationally, pose no threat to the wider public." Read on for our Q&A on this issue and what it will mean.

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E-petition on ownership and use of .22 calibre Rimfire pistols

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

You are invited to sign an e-petition which has recently been launched and which states: "We the undersigned respectfully petition the Government to amend the Firearms Acts to allow the ownership and use of .22 calibre Rimfire pistols for competitive sporting purposes in England, Wales and Scotland." The epetition's wording goes on to "ask that the sport of target pistol shooting be once more permitted under the existing Section 1 Licencing scheme, thus allowing a much loved and all inclusive sporting discipline to flourish once more." Read more and sign the petition here

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Photo by Jim Taig

Stolen gundogs – what to do?

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dog theft, especially of working dogs, continues to be a huge problem in rural areas. With the increase in popularity of fieldsports comes the increase in demand for trained dogs and thieves see valuable gun dogs as a saleable commodity. DogLost has stated that almost 50% of its missing dog reports actually relate to working dogs.

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450 clay shooting lessons given at 2014 CLA Game Fair

Monday, 21 July 2014

Over the three days of the 2014 CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace the Countryside Alliance clay shooting instruction team gave over 450 lessons. They report that 60% of the lessons were to under 16s but there seemed to be more adults, especially ladies,  having a go for the first time this year. An enthusiastic team from Shooting for Heroes came for a free lesson and Olympic Double Trap Gold Medallist Peter Wilson even came past to say "hi" - click here to see a photo gallery of some of the lessons.

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GWCT boss joins Natural England board

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust is delighted to announce that Teresa Dent, its Chief Executive has been appointed to the Board of Natural England. Teresa took up her post on Monday 14 July and will attend ten board meetings a year. Teresa commented, “I have lived and worked all my life in the countryside and Natural England has an incredibly important role to play in determining how we manage and conserve our countryside.

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