First BASC Wildlife Fund political reception held in Welsh parliament
The first BASC Wildlife Fund political reception was held in the Senedd this week, highlighting to cross-party MSs the positive impact sustainable shooting has on conservation efforts and connecting people with their environment.
The reception aimed to introduce the BASC Wildlife Fund (BWF) to Members of the Senedd (MSs), showcasing the work of shoots, clubs and syndicates to enhance natural habitats and benefit a plethora of species. The event was jointly sponsored by James Evans MS, and Llyr Gruffydd MS, Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, who spoke to welcome all guests to the event.
Mr Gruffydd said: “It’s a pleasure of mine to sponsor this evening’s launch of the BASC Wildlife Fund and hear how it supports the creation, the protection, and the restoration of natural habitats and how that subsequently has a positive impact on all sorts of animal and plant species. I’m looking forward to learning more about the fund and its impact.”
During his speech, Mr Gruffydd expressed his wish to visit a site supported by the BWF, to see for himself the difference the people behind the projects are making on the ground, and invited other MSs to do so also.
The chair of Wales’ Cross Party Group for Shooting and Conservation, Samuel Kurtz MS, praised the initiative, saying:
“An event such as this is really important in terms of advocating for our rural way of life. I’m pleased that so many [Senedd] members have engaged with BASC for this wildlife fund reception.
“As chair of the Cross Party Group on Shooting and Conservation, I’m passionate about ensuring that the sector’s voice is heard in Cardiff Bay.”
BASC Council member, Richard Garner Williams, said during his speech:
“Through its advocacy of sustainability and environmental responsibility, BASC believes it can contribute to a healthy, resilient, equitable and globally responsible Wales. I sincerely believe the ambitions of the BASC Wildlife Fund are fully aligned towards achieving these goals, and it will certainly play its part in addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.”
BASC’s executive director of conservation, Caroline Bedell, said:
“The BASC Wildlife Fund makes a real difference in habitat and nature recovery for all. The loss and degradation of natural habitats is a hugely complex problem that threatens all our futures, not only jeopardising the survival of individual species but compromising the ability of entire ecosystems to support life.
“It’s up to all of us to take action, and particularly those of us committed to sustainable shooting. Shooting is doing and can do more to help nature recovery in Wales; we can play our part in improving the Welsh environment so that it is a positive legacy for future generations.”
Also present at the event were members of wildfowling clubs who have received financial support from the BWF, including representatives of Wentloog Wildfowling and Conservation Association (WWCA). WWCA was recently awarded the first BWF loan in Wales, which will be used to purchase and preserve 932 acres of foreshore in Wentloog, situated between Newport and Cardiff.