A partnership between nine fieldsports bodies has been created to give shooting a single public and political voice.

Aim To Sustain launched at the Game Fair 2021, comprising BASC, the Countryside Alliance, the British Game Alliance (BGA), the CLA, the Game Farmers’ Association, the Moorland Association, the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation and Scottish Land & Estates.

Liam Stokes, chief executive of the BGA, described Aim to Sustain as: “… a modern, forward- thinking approach to safeguarding the benefits we deliver. Acting together, we can build a research- based regulatory shield around our community.”

Public perception of shooting has frequently been skewed by misinformation and Aim to Sustain will address this.

Richard Bailey, Peak District Moorland Group co-ordinator commented to Shooting UK: “One of the main drivers for the creation of the Regional Moorland Groups, six years ago, was to combat the misinformation peddled by individuals and some extremist organisations opposing grouse shooting.  With the announcement of the creation of the Aim To Sustain collaboration, our voices and reach will be far greater as a combined force working for a sustainable countryside message.”

Political standing

The creation of Aim To Sustain has already received widespread support within the political world.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, chair of the All Party parliamentary Group for Shooting and Conservation, said:“The UK’s leading rural organisations are creating a partnership that will make it easier and quicker to combine their expertise on the issues that matter,” he said.

“That can only be good for the future of sustainable game shooting in the UK.”

Aim to Sustain will not replace the existing organisations and will be financed by their subscriptions from supporters.

The GWCT cannot be a member as it is a charity; however it will be an adviser to the group which will benefit from the GWCT’s proven scientific research.

Sparked by general licence issue

The general licence changes in 2019 highlighted the need for a working partnership between the different fieldsports organisations to create a powerful voice.

Focus

  • Developing a game shooting sector that sustains communities and landscapes
  • Address environmental challenges
  • Delivers economic and social benefits
  • To be seen as a responsible and beneficial guardian of the countryside.

Decision making process

Decisions taken by Aim to Sustain must have drawn a consensus and all the organisations have an equal voice and a single vote. As a spokesperson said: “We are stronger together.”

Have your say

Aim to Sustain is running a 10-week consultation process here to enable those in the shooting community to help steer the direction of the new partnership.