The Countryside Alliance has issued a call to action to members and supporters, asking them to join them in a collaborative response to the review of the use of firearms on Natural Resources Wales (NRW) managed land.
The review, which was initially limited to looking at the recreational shooting of pheasants on NRW land, has been highjacked by animal rights protestors, developing into a complete review of the use of firearms in land management.
The Countryside Alliance first sought assurances that rural organisations and the shooting community would be consulted as part of this review when Director for Wales Rachel Evans attended the NRW board meeting in the Autumn of 2016. At no point however did NRW divulge that what had started as a review of pheasant shooting had morphed into a complete review of firearms use.
When questioned on this decision by the Countryside Alliance, Ceri Davies, NRW’s Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting said: “We are looking to make the most of the land we manage for the people, economy and environment in Wales. “As a land manager, this means considering how best to take a joined-up approach to managing our natural resources in order to build a healthy and resilient environment that can support economic and social prosperity for generations to come. In carrying out the formal review we are asking for evidence to inform our decisions. We know that there will be differing opinions about the use of firearms and this is why we want to collect as much evidence as we can, from the widest range of stakeholders possible.”
Rachel Evans, Director for Wales, said: “We know the best arguments for shooting are the real-world conservation works of the people on the ground, whether taking part in pheasant shooting or pest control. Our members and supporters are in the perfect position to help us formulate our response to the review, and I urge everyone involved with the use of firearms on NRW managed land to contact the Countryside Alliance directly to obtain a briefing note on the call for evidence to help them to help us stand up for shooting.
The Countryside Alliance has an excellent working relationship with NRW and has every confidence that an informative, honest and scientific-led response will achieve the right outcomes. I cannot stress enough the need for you, our grassroots supporters, to work with us on this to ensure that your interests are well represented. By sending your experiences to us, you guarantee that they will be shared through an organisation that has the necessary political lobbying experience in Wales as well as the ear and respect of both NRW and politicians in Cardiff Bay.”
Please email your evidence to [email protected] before 1 March 2017.
Read the full details of the National Resources Wales review.