This year, BASC’s dedicated wildfowling team has helped secure over 32,000 acres of coastal land on behalf of clubs across England.
Working collaboratively with Natural England, the Crown Estate, club members and other stakeholders, BASC has witnessed considerable progress and a front-foot approach to gaining consents. Consents are the legal paperwork that ensures wildfowling can take place on sites that fall within national conservation designated areas.
In total, BASC helped clubs obtain 12 consents and renew six leases in England. Over half of the consents were issued for eight years or more, with the majority achieving the maximum of 10 years permitted under the current legislation.
The agreements in place for the start of the current season include stretches of coastline in Lancashire, Northumberland, the Solent and The Wash, along with the Blackwater, Exe, Orwell, Humber, Mersey and Severn estuaries.
James Green, BASC’s head of wildfowling, said: “The work undertaken by the department for the benefit of wildfowling across the country is simply staggering. To see the figures at the end of a busy year makes it all worthwhile.
“It has been a pleasure to assist so many forward-thinking clubs. To have so many long-term English consents is testament to the amount of work and professionalism shown by all involved. We are already looking ahead towards the next round of consents; this area of our work is essential to ensure the sport of wildfowling can be secured for future generations.
“Among the notable achievements was a new 10-year consent on just over 317 acres of coastal marshes on the Blackwater Estuary; and the largest individual area involved the reintroduction of shooting on nearly 17,000 acres of The Wash.”
Clive Houlding, chair of Tollesbury Wildfowlers, said: “We are extremely grateful to the wildfowling team at BASC for securing a 10-year consent from Natural England for us. The whole process was handled in a very professional way with regular updates supplied. It would have been much more difficult to achieve this without their involvement.”
Trevor Amos, chair of the Gedney Drove End Wildfowlers, said: “We would like to thank BASC for helping the club to get this year’s consent to shoot the Lutton Lean marshes from Natural England, and even more so for the help given to get our shooting back on the Crown Estate owned-foreshore and the subsequent work then required to update our club’s management plan. Keep up the good work.”