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Fieldsports add £9bn to the UK economy

A new report published this week details the benefits of the shooting sector and conservation, showing the importance of the rural vote.

A new report shows that fieldsports generates more than £9 billion for the UK economy. 

The Value of Shooting report, published yesterday (4 June), was commissioned by 24 rural organisations, including BASC. It has taken a more comprehensive and detailed approach than previous reports, attaching a value to Contribution in Kind (CiK) and supply chain, which shows that £9.3 billion of wider economic activity is generated for the UK through fieldsports. 

Earlier studies have found that shooting generates around £2.5 billion, but this new report sets out in greater detail the benefits the shooting sector brings to the UK economy and the conservation of the countryside. The key findings will play an important role in shaping the debate around shooting in the run up the general election (see p6) and beyond. 

With the gap closing between the Conservatives and Labour in the 100 most rural constituencies, issues that affect the countryside and rural economy will likely be a key battleground. The findings of the new report confirm that fieldsports are a key component of the rural economy and conservation, as well as bringing both mental and physical health benefits and providing a healthy and sustainable food source. 

BASC’s chief executive Ian Bell said: “This is undoubtedly an important election for shooting and conservation and this report underlines to any prospective government the key role the shooting sector plays in the economy and the conservation and management of the countryside. 

“All of those who so tirelessly toil to maintain and sustain our countryside should be proud of the findings of this report. The importance of winning rural seats to any political party seeking office means that each and every one of us can play a crucial role in shaping the direction of travel for the next government on rural affairs. 

“BASC will continue to work with all parties across the political spectrum to promote and protect the way of life we all hold dear. We call on everyone involved in shooting and conservation to engage with their local candidates — together, we can make our voice heard.”