The importance of shooting and fishing was highlighted at a rural reception hosted by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Angling Trust at the Liberal Democrats' conference in Brighton.
Andrew George MP, Liberal Democrat Commons spokesperson on the environment, said the party supported and sought to protect the contribution BASC and the Angling Trust made to the countryside and the environment. He said: "If we reflect back on the last couple of years, we strongly support and seek to protect the contribution BASC and The Angling Trust make to the countryside and to the environment."
Tom Brake MP, the deputy leader of the House of Commons, said BASC was invaluable in helping to educate people.
He said: "Clearly the Liberal Democrats have had a constructive partnership relationship with BASC and we will continue to promote this. It is important that we recognise the difference between firearms used for shooting in recreational purposes and sport, to that of a firearm used during a crime and this is where BASC proves to be invaluable at helping to educate people.”
David Heath MP, the first Liberal Democrat Environment Minister since 1914, also attended the event.
Martyn Howat, BASC chairman, said: “I’m proud to be part of BASC and I know through 40 years as a shooter, the contribution that shooting makes to the environment – shooting sports – it’s enormous and is little understood. People don't often talk enough about how much they enjoy shooting. We have decades of experience and work hard to bring young people into the sport for future generations. We have our Green Shoots programmes. We look forward to working with the Liberal Democrats in the future."
BASC and the Angling Trust will also be holding events at the Conservative and Labour party conferences.
Notes to editors: Photographs are available to download from http://basc.thirdlight.com/libraryhome.tlx
For more information please call the BASC press office on 01244 573052.