The future of Scottish fieldsports

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referendum, independence, scotland, no, fieldsports, future, SNP

So, the majority of the Scottish public has voted to stay in the Union. Huge constitutional changes, however, are still very much on the cards over coming months.

In the next issue (out Nov 1), we address the pertinent issue of the future of Scottish fieldsports. An array of government legislation is already threatening to distort country sports and the way in which the hill, forests and rivers are managed. There is reason for concern.

To tackle the issue, we have called in the heads of Scotland's leading rural organisations, one of which is BASC Scotland director Colin Sheddon, who has been quick to show the organisation's intentions following this morning's result of the independence referendum.?

BASC Scotland has pledged to work with the Scottish Government to ensure shooting continues to be supported and encouraged.

Colin said: ?The latest research shows shooting influences the management of 4.5 million hectares of land in Scotland. It generates ?200 million for the economy every year and supports the equivalent of 8,800 full-time jobs. Country sports tourism is responsible for 910,000 visitor nights and ?155 million of spending.?

Alan Balfour, BASC council member and chairman of the BASC Scottish Committee, said: ?BASC Scotland will be working on behalf of our members to ensure any new laws, policies or guidance are evidence-based and avoid unintended consequences by meeting the five principles of better regulation: they must be proportional, accountable, consistent, transparent and targeted. We want to see policy which recognises and supports the benefits of shooting.?

In this vein, Colin will be focusing on the outlook of shooting in Scotland, while inputs from the Scottish Countryside Alliance and The Salmon and Trout Association Scotland will contemplate the position of hunting, salmon fishing and stalking.

These are concerns that all of?us?who enjoy these pursuits must share and understand to ensure their best possible administration and longevity.

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