By law shooting interests will be considered in detail before any decision can be taken on the creation of new coastal access rights, thanks to lobbying by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC).
BASC’s advice to Natural England, in the development of its comprehensive guidance for coastal access, has resulted in detailed consideration of shooting as an activity covering wildfowling, game shooting, deer stalking, target shooting and pest and predator control. It also includes shooting as a conservation land management interest covering saltmarsh, grazing marsh, woodlands, crops, wild deer and gamebird management.
BASC’s Conor O’Gorman said: “In the last two years BASC has represented shooters at every coastal access stakeholder meeting, workshop and consultation response. That time and effort has paid off and BASC will continue to support shooting interests during local implementation.”
A short section of coast at Weymouth Bay in Dorset will be the first site where new rights of coastal access will be created, with Natural England first meeting with landowners and occupiers before any detailed planning begins. Stretches of coast in Kent, Somerset, Norfolk, Cumbria and East Riding have also been earmarked for coastal access projects.
Any shooting interest that disagrees with a local decision on coastal access will have a right of appeal to the Secretary of State and should inform BASC if they plan to appeal.