Exmoor National ParkA recent Campaign for National Parks survey has highlighted the strength of support towards shooting as a recreational activity within the UK’s most beautiful countryside, coming in as the third favourite activity in a list of 23.

The Campaign launched a multi-choice survey earlier this year asking the public to name their favourite activities within the parks. Shooting came in 3rd out of 23 options among those who live and work in a National Park and 2nd among those who live and work outside a National Park. This result was remarkable given that shooting was not offered as an option in the multiple-choice survey, and fans of the pastime had to write it in as their favourite activity.

This support highlights the importance of shooting to our National Parks, not only for the continued conservation of non-target species in both the uplands and lowlands, but also in maintaining the spectacular landscapes, cultural heritage, rural communities and businesses that make up these rural treasures.

Liam Stokes, Head of Shooting at the Countryside Alliance, “It is great that shooting is so popular within National Parks, both with residents and visitors, because we know that wherever game shooting is popular it brings jobs, investment, beautiful landscapes and conservation benefits. Shooting was second in popularity to “walking” among visitors, and third to “walking and “observing wildlife” among residents. Of course, well managed shooting in the uplands and lowlands increases the amount of wildlife to be seen, so shooting is supporting the favourite activities of those who shoot and those who don’t.

“We should also be delighted with the responses to the question ‘what should be prevented in National Parks?’ Shooting could be selected from a list of 14 options, and came 12th. This shows that the non-shooting public have no interest in attempts to see shooting curtailed. Elsewhere in the survey people recorded the beautiful views as one of their favourite features of National Parks, which is unsurprising given the breathtaking upland landscapes shooting supports in so many of our rural beauty spots. No wonder people don’t want to ban it.”

The survey findings can be found here.


NB The Campaign for National Parks covers England and Wales only.