Shooting Times talks to BASC council candidate Nicholas Powell
Nicholas Powell, aged 45, is a factory manager. He lives in Shropshire and is standing for one of five contested seats in this year’s BASC council elections.
What is your shooting and conservation background?
Thirty years of Wildfowling, with 15 years of reloading, game and rough shooting, vermin control, clayshooting and more recently (seven years) rifle shooting and reloading.
I’m currently chairman of Dyfi, Mawddach and Dysynni Wildfowlers Association and past treasurer. I have overseen the merger of four wildfowling clubs along with the administration of shooting and conservation across three estuaries. Currently, I’m working within a group alongside the Welsh Government on the declining numbers of Greenland white-fronted geese in Wales.
What will you do for BASC and for shooting?
I will continue doing what I have always done and that is providing my time and knowledge freely to try to help my fellow shooters. It is my intension to feed in the thoughts, comments and evidence from individual BASC members alongside that of my own day-to-day experiences into council business.
What skills in your working life would you bring to BASC?
I would bring my ability to pick up a new job or task in a short space of time. A lot of my practical experiences have been self-taught so I can analyse a situation or problem and usually within a short period of time find a suitable solution.
My current employment involves working to tight tolerances and production schedules in what can be a dangerous environment when working with molten metal.
I would also bring a broad knowledge base backed up by practical involvement of most shooting activities.
How would you improve BASC?
If at all possible I would like to see BASC be more open and accountable to its members. Too often it appears to the members that BASC has not acted soon enough or strongly enough in defending the members’ interests, but without knowing what has occurred behind the scenes I guess that will always be the case.
What bad practices in shooting would you tackle?
Apathy is what I would tackle, by educating those sporting shooters that have been shooting for years and encouraging them to come on board and become members of BASC, so that they can enjoy the benefits of membership rather than take the attitude of “I’m alright Jack I don’t need BASC”. Then, when something happens that curtails or stops their sporting shooting, they then protest that BASC should have done more, despite the irony that they are not even members.
The more members BASC has, the bigger the voice of the association will be, which in turn will make politicians and the law makers take note.
Do you think support for all fieldsports is necessary for a member of BASC council?
Yes, having a working relationship with all recognised fieldsports can only improve BASC council’s understanding of the countryside.
How would you encourage new people into the sport and new members to join BASC?
Shooting clays or air rifles is the most recognised way into shooting for the majority who do not have the benefit of family or friends already in the sport. This will lead to educating people about best practice and the many benefits of BASC membership.
What’s your idea of a perfect shooting/sporting day?
It would start with meeting up with some friends at silly o’clock. Then, when out on the foreshore it is nice to hear the estuary come alive at the break of dawn followed by the sound of duck wing beats, the bang of my gun and the thud of the quarry. About an hour later the tide will start to make and the Canadas lift in small groups coming over the guns. Nothing is more pleasing than seeing a new Gun get his first goose and the inevitable grin on his face, as that is one more wildfowler that has caught goose fever.
What’s your favourite game dish?
My wife’s homemade wildfowlers’ pie (something akin to a Shepherd’s pie) with minced Canada goose or diced wigeon / mallard (subject to availability) topped off with a rich butter laced mash that has a thin crust on top. All served up with vegetables, roast spuds and a rich gravy sauce.
The 12 candidates standing for the five contested BASC council places are as follows:
In the Northern Irish and Welsh council seats, for which there will be no ballot, the new council members will be Oliver McCullough (Northern Ireland) Jonathan Garton (Wales).
Profiles of those standing will also be sent to BASC members in the March/April issue of the members’ magazine, along with voting forms. The results will be announced at the organisation’s AGM in June.
For more information about the 2015 elections and BASC council, click here.