The Moray Council-led LNR Management Committee, whose membership includes BASC, the local wildfowling club, recreation and conservation interests and two councillors, was created almost 20 years ago to deal with management issues on Findhorn Bay.
In recent years, there has been concern over the numbers of wildfowlers visiting Findhorn Bay. The LNR Management Committee agreed this should be addressed through the introduction of bylaws that would allow permit control of wildfowling, as happens at many other nature reserves in Scotland. BASC and the local club support the introduction of bylaws to manage wildfowling on Findhorn Bay.
Instead of referring the current issues about wildfowling to the LNR Management Committee, the council chose to engage with two individuals who had submitted petitions – one for and one against wildfowling – at a ‘mediation meeting’. The two individuals agreed to trial a voluntary agreement that would restrict shooting on Findhorn Bay, both in time and location. This voluntary agreement was confusing and unnecessarily restrictive, calling for all shooting to stop at 10am but not stipulating when it should recommence.
BASC and Forres and Nairn Wildfowlers remain fully supportive of the role of the LNR Management Committee and the introduction of bylaws to facilitate a permit system that would manage wildfowling but are unable to support the voluntary agreement due to it being both confusing and unnecessarily restrictive.
Our advice to BASC members is:
- There are no legal changes to wildfowling on Findhorn Bay this season
- Shooting will continue as normal and should follow strict adherence to the BASC Wildfowling Code of Practice
We strongly encourage Moray Council to work with the LNR Management Committee to consider the introduction of a permit scheme at the earliest possible opportunity.