BASC and Natural England meet to talk wildfowling

BASC has recently organised three Introduction to Wildfowling workshops for Natural England (NE) staff.

The events were aimed at equipping NE staff with the knowledge and understanding of wildfowling which would ultimately help them make informed, pragmatic consenting decisions on protected and designated sites.

More than 40 NE staff, as well as members of local wildfowling clubs, BASC staff and a Crown Estate representative attended the events held at three Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s (WWT) reserves in Lancashire, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire prior to the end of the wildfowling season.

A Natural England spokesperson said: “The workshops provided by BASC gave a useful opportunity for Natural England advisers to learn about the habitat maintenance and restoration work that clubs undertake on the marshes they own and manage.”

Chris Barker, who is a member of BASC Council, chairman of the association’s Wildfolwing Liaison Committee (WLC) and secretary of the Fenland Wildfowlers Association, said: “I have no doubt that the work undertaken on these days will be of significant benefit to the long-term future of wildfowling.

“The work has opened doors, fostered relationships, will influence future decisions regarding consenting, and it’s highlighted the role that wildfowling clubs play in the enhancement and continued management of our protected site network.”

BASC’s head of land management and consenting Sarah Pinnell explained the consenting process and how BASC works with wildfowling clubs, while BASC’s head of wildfowl and wetlands James Green gave an introductory talk on wildfowling which included law, best practice, equipment, and quarry identification.

James Green said: “The success of these three workshops exceeded expectations, each of the events clearly underscored the shared interests among us with conservation and preservation of our wetlands at the forefront of everyone’s mind.”