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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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Campaign: write to M&S about grouse

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

We are asking everyone who cares about shooting to write to the Chief Executive of Marks & Spencer (M&S), Marc Bolland, because, barely three weeks before the Glorious Twelfth, it has abandoned plans to expand the number of stores in which it was to have sold grouse.  Instead it will not be selling grouse at all in 2014. M&S says it is doing this because it cannot agree “environmental and biodiversity standards” with “key stakeholders”. This came as a surprise as M&S had not been discussing such standards with its suppliers or shooting organisations. What it actually means is that the RSPB, which is actively campaigning against driven grouse shooting, has complained about grouse sales and M&S has rolled over. Read on to write to M&S via our automated system.

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Gamekeeping Prize Winners at Wiltshire College Lackham

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

This summer marks the fifth year of Bright Seed’s sponsorship of the Lackham College Shoot, and the fourth winner of the Bright Seeds Game Management Student of the Year: Joseph Nixon. Joe won the award in recognition of the outstanding progress he made on his Extended Diploma Countryside Management (Gamekeeping and Fisheries), having started his course with very little background in gamekeeping he has developed some excellent keepering skills and is progressing to the new Game and Wildlife Management foundation degree at Wiltshire College Lackham in September.

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Congratulations, Commonwealth shooters!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Congratulations to the home nations medallists in shooting, including record-breaking Mick Gault on his 18th Commonwealth medal for England, a bronze in 10m air pistol, while it was double trap gold for Charlotte Kerwood and Steve Scott, also shooting for England. Matthew French took silver and Rachel Parish bronze in the same event. Drew Christie won Scotland's first medal as he picked up a silver in the men's skeet with England's Rory Warlow taking bronze in the same event. Newport shooter Elena Allen claimed silver in the women’s skeet for Wales. Further medals have been won, see below. These are great times for shooting sports in the UK!

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M&S decision to not stock grouse is illogical and misjudged

Friday, 25 July 2014

Marks & Spencer has announced that it shall not be stocking grouse this year, despite having been working until very recently with game processors and the Countryside Alliance to expand the number of stores offering grouse this season.
Countryside Alliance head of campaigns Tim Bonner said: “This is a bizarre decision by M&S, which seems to have bowed to minimal pressure from a vocal minority of anti-shooting activists. We are now in a ridiculous situation where grouse moors are being judged on standards of which they have no knowledge, with the result that M&S claims it is unable to achieve 3rd party accreditation for those moors.

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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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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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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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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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