Opinion Former Article

BASC: Wildfowlers secure 17,500 acres of foreshore

Almost 17,500 acres of foreshore have been secured by wildfowling clubs in the past year with help from the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).

BASC’s wildfowling team has helped affiliated clubs to secure sporting rights leases and consents for wildfowling on 14 areas of foreshore in England and Wales in the past 12 months.  One lease was also renewed in Northern Ireland.

Twelve of the leases are for a period of 15 years, two run in perpetuity and one new lease is for a period of six years.  A further two new areas have been opened up on sites covered by UK and EU conservation designations.  These are on Anglesey and the Severn Estuary and are incorporated in a 15 year lease and a long standing annual tenancy respectively.

Stuart Husbands, club secretary and conservation officer for the Avon-based Clevedon Wildfowling Association, said: “Not only has our previous permission been renewed but an extra area of foreshore added. It is extremely unusual to be able to take an area out of reserve and start to shoot it once again, especially somewhere considered as sensitive as the Severn Estuary. As a club we are indebted to BASC’s wildfowling team for putting together such a well argued application which demonstrated to Natural England that the benefits of the club shooting and managing the foreshore would outweigh those of a blanket protection policy.”

Andy Stott, honorary secretary of the Cumbria-based Westmorland Wildfowlers’ Association, said: “Westmorland Wildfowlers’ Association recently constructed a new management plan to cover their Crown Estate lease on the River Kent estuary at the request of the Crown Estate, to bring the club’s annual lease tenancy into line with current procedures. The association is indebted to BASC's wildfowling team for their valuable advice, knowledge and considerable input into the whole process which made the task much simpler than we had first anticipated.”

Mark Greenhough, BASC’s wildfowling officer, added: “I am delighted that the efforts of the wildfowling team have come to such great fruition and particularly delighted that new areas of shooting have been opened up to BASC members for wildfowling.”

Anyone interested in finding out more about wildfowling can contact the BASC wildfowling team and request a copy of the BASC wildfowling permit scheme booklet. Email wildfowling@basc.org.uk and include your name, address and postcode in the email.  The booklet includes information on areas where you can try the sport as well as information on fieldcraft and legal aspects.

ENDS

Notes to editors – Wildfowling is the shooting of wild ducks and geese on the foreshore.  The wildfowling season in the UK began on 1st September.

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