A new survey by the Countryside Alliance (CA) has clearly shown how important young people are to the future of shooting.
More than 3,000 people from 400 clubs, groups and syndicates took part in the survey, which aimed to identify the barriers that are faced when entering shooting sports.
The young people who responded said that public opinion about shooting was the biggest barrier to taking up the sport, followed by prohibitive costs and restrictive laws.
The CA?s shooting campaigns manager, David Taylor, said: ?We had an overwhelming response to this survey, so it really is the most up-to-date reflection of the views of the shooting community, especially regarding young people.?
?The importance of young people to shooting cannot be overstated, and the survey provides the evidence that shows this.?
The survey also reveals how many shooters first picked up a gun at a young age ? 60% of respondents said that they learned to shoot while they were under the age of 14, and 84% said that they learned to shoot before they were 25.
Though the survey found that game shooting is the most popular shooting activity for young people, with 63% of respondents taking part, the results also show that shooting sports should not be treated in isolation.
Mr Taylor said: ?On average, youngsters take part in three or four different types of shooting sports. This not only displays the variety of sport being enjoyed, but also the dedication that these young people have.?