NRW confirms position on shooting

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) will not renew leases on its land for pheasant shooting rights when they come to an end in March 2019 as part of its final position statement on the use of firearms on land it manages.

The statement, agreed today by NRW Board Members, will make sure that firearms are used for the right reasons, in the right circumstances and in the best way possible.

In reaching its conclusions, the Board considered the Welsh Government’s position, as the landowner, that it does not support pheasant shooting, the breeding of gamebirds or the birds being kept in holding pens on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate.


NRW Board Members agreed that NRW will:


  • Stop leasing of pheasant shooting rights on the Welsh Government Woodland Estate (WGWE) with effect from March 2019 when the current leases expire. NRW will not offer any extension to existing leases.


  • Consider requests for permissions to drive birds from the WGWE, provided it is not in connection with shooting activity.


  • Review the leasing of wildfowl shooting rights when the potential impacts on conservation species is known. This is pending the work being undertaken by NRW’s ornithologists on the impact of wildfowling on rare bird species.


  • Continue to consider applications for permission to carry out control of wild species, impacting on neighbouring land management objectives, using firearms on the land we manage.


The review had been carried out to assess firearms use against NRW’s role and purpose, to manage Wales’ natural resources in a sustainable way.  The Board had previously agreed an evidence- based set of recommendations regarding the use of firearms on the land it manages.


The Board today agreed that NRW would consider applications for permission to carry out control of wild species using firearms on the land it manages and that applications for firearms use for other pursuits such as clay pigeon/ target shooting would be considered on a case by case basis.

Madeleine Havard, NRW’s Acting Chair said:

“We want to make the most of the land we manage for the people, economy and environment in Wales. As a land manager, this means considering how best to make sure that we tackle the ongoing decline in our wildlife, while conserving rare animals and habitats.

“In making our final decisions, the Board also accepted the Welsh Government’s position as landowner.

“We have taken the time to review all the information provided to us by a wide a range of stakeholders. We are confident that we have a robust position statement that reflects the requirements of the Environment (Wales) Act.” 

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Team @ AberdareOnline

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