Shoots vital for the future of breeding waders in NI

Land which is managed for shooting in NI provides vital habitat to help protect the future of wading bird populations.

Recent results of a study comparing data from 1987, 1999 and 2013 show major declines in curlew, lapwing and snipe in NI.

However, data collected through BASC, most recently through its online Green Shoots Mapping system, indicates a stable population on land managed for shooting. The data shows that  between 2006 and 2012-2015 that the proportion of shoots with breeding curlew and lapwing are stable at around 30%.  In addition, survey data shows that 58 per cent of shoots in NI have breeding snipe on them.

Land managed for shooting can provide both the habitat and predator control that these waders need for breeding success.

Tim Russell, BASC's director of conservation, said:  “BASC is always keen to work with partners, farmers and members to achieve conservation targets.”

Oliver McCullough, BASC Council member, said: "Land used for shooting has high value for a range of wildlife, not just the species we are interested in shooting.  This reflects that those who shoot are interested in conservation.”

BASC’s interactive online Green Shoots Mapping system allows people to make bespoke maps of their shooting grounds and to record species and habitat information which feeds into BASC’s Green Shoots conservation programme.

To find out more about Green Shoots mapping, visit


For more information please contact the BASC press office