The conservation efforts and contribution to the rural economy by those involved in fieldsports have been praised at a rural reception hosted by BASC and the Angling Trust at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

Owen Paterson MP, secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “Everything that BASC and the Angling Trust do is slap bang in the middle of the DEFRA brief to grow the rural economy and improve the environment. We have a different view to the last government — we have to manage the countryside and wildlife and we are not frightened about doing that.”

Mr Paterson also talked about the benefits shooting delivers to the countryside: “Last week, I visited the village of Helmsley, which was an excellent example of a thriving community built around shooting. The high street was busy at 7am with 4x4s and people. The coffee shops were open and busy, pork pies were being sold and there were four hotels that had been done up and were full because of people going to this rural, remote part of the country to shoot.”

The rest of this article appears in the 9th October issue of Shooting Times.

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