Shooters have less than a week left to contribute to one of the most important surveys on shooting to take place in the past ten years.
Last year, independent firm Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) was tasked by 17 shooting and countryside organisations to carry out a detailed survey of the economic, environmental and social benefits of shooting sports in the UK (News, 27 November 2013).
The new survey went live in January and the various organisations involved contacted members asking them to complete it. As the deadline for responses is the end of March, anyone who has not yet taken the survey is urged to do so now to ensure that PACEC has as much information as possible on which to base its report.
A previous report by PACEC in 2006 produced some valuable statistics ? that shooting was worth £1.6billion to the UK economy and that shooters spend £250million a year on conservation, for example ? which have been useful in promoting and explaining the importance of shooting. The organisers behind
the project feel that it is now vital to update the figures.
One of the reasons for the March deadline is to enable PACEC to deliver the report before the general election in 2015, thereby allowing politicians, journalists and members of the public to appreciate the importance of the sport when formulating and discussing policies and deciding how to vote.
The organisations driving the project and whose members should respond include BASC, the Country Land and Business Association, the Countryside Alliance, and the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Unlike the 2006 report, this year?s survey includes clay and target shooting, airgun use, deer population management and shooting tourism in Scotland, and its backers include relevant representative organisations such as the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association, the National Rifle Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group. Another addition to the updated report will be an analysis of the social benefits of shooting and its place in society to show the broader human value of a sport often criticised for being elitist.
There are two parts to the anonymous survey itself. One relates to participation in shooting sports and the other relates to those who provide shooting sports. It includes questions on where in the UK participants shoot, what type of shooting they take part in, how often they do so and how much they spend on shooting, shooting accessories and shooting-related travel.
For more information on the survey and to take part if you have not already done so, visit bit.ly/PACECsurvey.
For details of the report on the value of shooting produced by PACEC in 2006 or to download a copy of the report itself, visit www.shootingfacts.co.uk.