Spring14_p27_LeesCourt_DSC_0572Shooting 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.

Sir Barney White-Spunner, executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “The message of this research is clear – shooting is a crucial part of our rural economy and plays an essential part in managing and conserving the countryside for the millions of people who enjoy it each year.”

The Value of Shooting reveals that shooting supports the equivalent of 74,000 full-time jobs.

At leaset 600,000 people shoot in the UK and between them they spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services, bringing income into rural areas, particularly in the low-season for tourism. The research shows that an established shoot generates local economic benefits for businesses in a radius of up to fifteen miles.

The figures show that the amount spent on shooting (£2.5bn) equals almost 10% of the total amount spent on outdoor recreation in a year, which has been measured at £27bn by the Sport and Recreation Alliance**.

Shooting is involved in the management of two-thirds of the UK’s rural land area. Almost two million hectares – an area the size of Wales –  are actively managed for conservation as a result of shooting.

including the management of heather moorland, and the planting of trees and hedgerows.  Some 16,000 full time jobs are involved in this conservation work, and the cost of that management in the year to the end of the 2013 season was estimated to have been almost £250 million. This is a significant amount, especially when compared with the £29.6 million that the RSPB spent on conservation on all its nature reserves.

People who shoot also put in 3.9 million work days on conservation every year – the equivalent of 16,000 full-time conservation jobs.