Borders sees the value of shooting

AIMING FOR THE BIRD: A gun takes a shot at grouse from butt.
AIMING FOR THE BIRD: A gun takes a shot at grouse from butt.

The value of shooting to the Borders has been made clear with the publication of research published this week by leading countryside organisations.

Shooting is worth £200 million a year to Scotland as a whole, and also provides the opportunity for conservation schemes.

The figures are outlined in a report compiled by Public and Corporate Economic Consultants.

This is the most comprehensive research ever undertaken into the economic, environmental and social contributions of shooting in the UK.

The Value of Shooting reveals that shooting supports the equivalent of 8,800 full-time jobs in the country. Shooting influences the management of around 4.5 million hectares of land and at least 120,000 people in the country shoot live quarry, clay pigeons or targets.

In addition, the amount of conservation work provided by people who shoot in Scotland amounts to the equivalent of 3,900 full-time conservation jobs.

People who shoot spend £2.5 billion each year on goods and services, bringing income into rural areas, particularly in the low-season for tourism.

The research shows that an established shoot generates local economic benefits for businesses in a radius of up to fifteen miles.

Alex Hogg, Borders gamekeeper and long-serving Chairman of The Scottish Gamekeepers Association welcomed the report.

He said: “We hope the new report will underline the considerable economic impact shooting and country sports in general have on places like the Borders. Shooting brings international visitors to the area at times when tourism businesses may be experiencing a drop-off.

“It helps support a number of related businesses in the Borders; everything from gun hire and tackle shops to car rental firms and restaurants.

“Having this regular flush of inward income is very important to rural areas, not only in terms of tourist spending but also in terms of sustaining local employment and keeping young people in the countryside rather than going elsewhere looking for opportunities.”