The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will ensure that the interests of shooters are fully considered in the final drafting of secondary legislation and guidance stemming from the enactment of the Marine and Coastal Access Bill.
BASC will also assist shooters through the process of each of the 50 consultations on coastal access in coming years.
BASC’s Conor O’Gorman said: “At local level it is important that you ensure that your interests are considered at the planning stage. That applies whether you own the land, own the sporting rights, hold a sporting rights tenancy or any other form of shooting agreement. Your voice should be considered in terms of your ability to manage shooting effectively and that the habitats you manage for shooting and conservation such as game cover crops, woodlands, saltmarsh and mudflats are protected from the damage and disturbance that might be caused by ill-considered coastal access proposals.”
BASC has ensured that shooters will have a say on the location of any coastal path before the public does; that open access inland of the path will not be allowed where driven shooting or target shooting takes place; that the public must keep dogs under effective control and that neither the path nor open access will be even considered on key areas of mudflats and saltmarsh for wildfowling and wildfowl. If people feel aggrieved with poor decision making they can appeal to the Secretary of State who will consider their case in full.
The roll-out of coastal access will take place in stages over the next 10 years. The English coast has been divided into around 50 stretches, with each stretch the subject of its own planning and consultative process. Weymouth will be the first stretch of coast where new rights of coastal access will take effect, with planning and consultation starting some time after April 2010. Announcements and timetables for other stretches of coast are pending.
For a comprehensive BASC update on the next stages due on coastal access visit: www.basc.org.uk/en/media/key_issues.cfm