The British Association for Shooting and Conservation has launched a unique online mapping system which will revolutionise the way its members manage and develop their shoots.
The new tool will also transform shooting's contribution to conservation, the organisation says.
The Green Shoots mapping website will help identify the health of quarry populations and other important wildlife across the UK.
It will provide detailed information on quarry species and show how habitat managed for shooting is also good for a range of birds, animals, insects and plants. BASC members will also be able to print off customised maps of their shooting ground for their own use.
According to a BASC statement this week: "The website will increase shooting's contribution to the world of conservation."
To expand Green Shoots – the campaign by which BASC is encouraging those involved with shooting to support conservation across the UK – the website will allow members to:
Log-in and map where they shoot against Ordnance Survey or aerial background mapping;
Provide records of wildlife and habitats, both on and off their shooting areas;
Make custom maps of their shoot showing a range of useful information for planning shoot management and development, wildfowling trips, deer stalking, pigeon shooting and many other uses.
Members will log-in through a secure connection. BASC will keep this mapping information in strict confidence to ensure that the security of the shoot cannot be compromised. Members will be asked to allow BASC to share the wildlife information they provide over the website as this is crucial when the association demonstrates that shooting is a positive force for conservation.
Members will be able to draw the boundary of their shooting land and provide some key information about it, such as how they gain access for shooting and what sort of shooting they undertake there. This information helps BASC to understand its members' interests and helps the association anticipate what conservation projects might be of interest.
An optional area lets members see the shoot boundaries they have mapped and add in other information for their personal use. For example, BASC recommends that people should undertake a risk assessment and medical emergency plan for their shoot, both of which benefit hugely from a map.
Ian Danby, BASC's head of biodiversity projects, said: "Green Shoots has been extremely successful to date and this new website offers every member a chance to take part wherever they shoot in the UK. BASC members can help to protect and benefit their sport and the environment by getting involved. Providing information over the website is not only easy but allows members to update it so that we can build a long-term database of wildlife information which will be of immense value to conservation."