Last week saw the publication by Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) of the largest and most in-depth research into shooting for a decade. The headline figure showed shooters contribute £1.6billion to the UK economy. ST went to find out exactly what that means to the shooting community.

According to the report, shooting supports the equivalent of 70,000 full-time jobs, directly and in-directly, the majority of them game managers and gamekeepers. Ken Butler, chairman of the National Gamekeepers? Organisation (NGO), told ST: ?Keepers have always known the extent and the value of what they do for conservation and the economic well-being of the countryside, but this survey proves the point to the world at large.?

Edward Gifford, an ST reader from Yorkshire, hailed the research made into the conservation benefits brought by shooting. He said: ?This shows just how beneficial our sport is to the nation?s biodiversity. I was shooting grouse a few weeks ago in Lancashire and saw hen harriers ? if it weren?t for shooters I sincerely believe the birds would not exist in the wild in Britain. The report provides us with solid evidence that land managed for shooting is better for wildlife all-round, without a shadow of a doubt. This is what shooters do for the countryside ? what do the antis do??

Last week saw the publication by Public and Corporate Economic Consultants (PACEC) of the largest and most in-depth research into shooting for a decade. The headline figure showed shooters contribute £1.6billion to the UK economy. ST went to find out exactly what that means to the shooting community.

According to the report, shooting supports the equivalent of 70,000 full-time jobs, directly and in-directly, the majority of them game managers and gamekeepers. Ken Butler, chairman of the National Gamekeepers? Organisation (NGO), told ST: ?Keepers have always known the extent and the value of what they do for conservation and the economic well-being of the countryside, but this survey proves the point to the world at large.?

Edward Gifford, an ST reader from Yorkshire, hailed the research made into the conservation benefits brought by shooting. He said: ?This shows just how beneficial our sport is to the nation?s biodiversity. I was shooting grouse a few weeks ago in Lancashire and saw hen harriers if it weren?t for shooters I sincerely believe the birds would not exist in the wild in Britain. The report provides us with solid evidence that land managed for shooting is better for wildlife all-round, without a shadow of a doubt. This is what shooters do for the countryside, what do the antis do??

Last Thursday, Douglas Bachelor of the League Against Cruel Sports told Radio 4?s Farming Today programme that he was singularly unimpressed with the wealth of data presented in the independent report. He commented: ?This [wildlife] is not an asset ? by what right do people start harvesting this for profit? We also have a concern about the aspects of cruelty involved in this activity and we feel there should be a debate about whether this should be going on in the countryside.?