New fund created in drive for practical conservation

Species, habitats and communities will all benefit from a major new biodiversity fund targeted at shooting and conservation-related activities.

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) Wildlife Fund will award grants and loans to support targeted activities that demonstrate the wider benefits of sustainable shooting in biodiversity and connecting people to the environment.

Money will be raised through legacy and member donations, as well as fundraising efforts including the sale of annually-produced artwork and a stamp, with this year’s being “Capercaillie in the Cairngorms”.

The fund is a consolidation and expansion of several trusts and charitable endeavours that have previously been responsible for assisting with the purchase of land worth £3.7 million for BASC-affiliated clubs, and the awarding of £520,000 grants for conservation projects.

Curlew, hen harriers, Eurasian wigeon and wetland areas are among a long list of species and habitats that have already benefited from such funding.

Caroline Bedell, BASC’s executive director of conservation, said: “Members of the shooting community are the original conservationists, actively managing wildlife populations and the land to provide healthy habitats and to allow for a sustainable harvest of quarry. The BASC Wildlife Fund will further support that work by strengthening the interconnectivity between shooting and conservation.

“BASC has already played a significant step in providing access and opportunities for conservation to be undertaken. The creation of the BASC Wildlife Fund is simply the next step to continuing to support practical conservation.”