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.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014
The Whitfield Annual Clay Shoot, the popular annual charity shoot at the Northumberland sporting estate will be held on the 10th and 11th May and there are still spaces available for teams of four who would like to apply. The event is run by Whitfield gamekeeper Stuart Maughan and his team and raises funds for the Countryside Alliance and the GWCT as well as local charities.Read more
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Natural England’s Consultation on General and Class Licences closes on 19th May. The consultation seeks views on a number of proposals and topics relating to those licenses and any changes made as a result could come into effect on 1st January 2015. A number of proposals would benefit the sensible control of pest species, but there are also many that would not – such as removing the jackdaw, jay and collared dove from General Licenses, and the need to have taken "reasonable steps and appropriate steps, such as scaring" before shooting pigeons. A copy of the Country Alliance’s response to Natural England’s consultation is available here . All those with an interest in the sound management of our countryside are urged to respond to the consultation. The closing date is 19th May. Even if you cannot respond in full please email Natural England and express your support for our submission. Email Natural England at email@example.com. Read more on our views here.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
27th May - Tour of the Grey Partridge Project – The Norfolk Estate, Arundel - This is a great opportunity to get a real understanding of the conservation (restoring biodiversity) work carried out alongside modern farming practices on the South Downs. The tour is open to members and member's guests of the Countryside Alliance and all children under 16 are free. So please book early as places will be limited.Read more
Friday, 4 April 2014
The Countryside Alliance's Spring 2014 magazine is out now and features an article on red squirrel conservation. In "Long live the reds!" we celebrate the great work being done to boost red squirrel populations and hear from three groups working hard on Tufty's behalf, namely Red Squirrels Northern England, Cornwall Red Squirrels (whose President is our founding CEO Robin Hanbury-Tenison) and the Countryside Restoration Trust, whose Chairman is renowned countryman Robin Page.
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.
Friday, 7 March 2014
Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: In 2005 Natural England's predecessor English Nature consulted on the licences for pest control including the 'open' licence which allows the control of wood pigeons. The suggestion that anyone using the licence should be able to show that they had tried non-lethal methods of control such as scaring before resorting to the gun drew ridicule. The Times even ran a story which reviewed the effectiveness of pigeon shooting in a morris dancing suit.Read more
Thursday, 27 February 2014
National Shooting Week 2014 (24th – 31st May) is now open for event registrations - http://www.nationalshootingweek.co.uk/event-registration. If you own, manage or work at a shooting ground, range or club we want to hear from you! It is simple and quick to register, with the end result being far more interest from new-comers searching our website for somewhere to begin their education.
Monday, 24 February 2014
The Countryside Alliance welcomes the opportunity to comment on the General & Class licences consultation launched this week by Natural England. However, we have grave concerns regarding some of the proposals contained within the consultation and the adverse impact this would have for farmers, gamekeepers and others undertaking essential pest control and wildlife management.Read more
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
On Wednesday 9th April the Western Daily Press reported: "A call for gamekeepers and shoots to be licensed as a means of protecting birds of prey has been rejected", with the "economic and environmental benefits" of sport shooting reason enough not to restrict it. The petition to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs proposed licenses for gamekeeper and shoots, with each forfeiting them for breaches of conditions to include the illegal persecution of raptors. Though the focus was primarily on upland grouse moors, managers of the West Country's prime pheasant shoots will be relieved at the Government's refusal – and recognition of their contribution to the rural economy." Read more on this story here.
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
The Spring 2014 Countryside Alliance magazine features a spread on the winners of the 2013 Purdey Awards for Game and Conservation which you can read here. The winners, The Temple Estate in Wiltshire, Vine House Farm in Lincolnshire and Lees Court in Kent, go to exceptional efforts for the conservation of our countryside and Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner was honoured to present the prizes at a reception held in the Long Room at Purdey's in Mayfair, London. Please note that the 2014 Awards are open to entries until 9th May. Click here for more.Read more