BASC and Natural England talk wildfowling

Natural England

Since the start of 2024, BASC has organised three Introduction to Wildfowling workshops for Natural England staff.

The events aim to equip Natural England (NE) staff with the knowledge and understanding of wildfowling to make informed, pragmatic decisions when consenting the activity on the European protected sites network.

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 Wetlands Trust (WWT) reserves. The first of these took place in Lancashire, the next at WWT’s head office in Gloucestershire, and the last in Norfolk.

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 Wildfowling 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.”

Natural England

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

Moreover, the respective wildfowling clubs involved – which included Preston & District Wildfowlers Association, Lytham & District Wildfowlers Association, Gloucestershire Wildfowlers & Conservation Association, Fenland Wildfowlers Association, and Ely & District Wildfowlers Association – also had the opportunity to showcase their own history and conservation efforts through short presentations.

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.”

For advice and information on wildfowling, visit our dedicated pages here.