Shooting over 11,000 acres of foreshore and an inland marsh has been secured for 13 wildfowling clubs in England and Wales in the past year, with support from BASC’s wildfowling team.
The agreements, which were in place for the start of the current season, include stretches of coastline in East Anglia, on the Mersey and Severn Estuaries, the River Roach and inland on the Ouse and Cam Washes.
Among the notable achievements were securing 10-year consents on 285 acres of the mid-Essex coastline and on eight sites totaling 111 acres within the Ouse and Cam Washes. Crown Estate leases for 15 years have also been renewed on Mersey Estuary SSSI and on undesignated areas of the Severn Estuary.
Some consents have been agreed for one year in England.
Sue Beale, Natural England’s Senior Specialist – Protected Sites, said the short-term consents had been put in place as an interim measure whilst an ongoing disturbance review is completed. She outlined NE’s proposed review at BASC’s Wildfowling Conference in March 2016.
The review will be informed by up-to-date research, including a BASC-funded PhD, due to be published shortly, on disturbance factors for migratory waterfowl on Poole Harbour. It is hoped that the resulting evidence will allow a more flexible consenting process and bring positive benefits for both the environment and wildfowling clubs.
BASC’s Wildfowling Officer, Mark Greenhough, said: “I am delighted that BASC’s wildfowling team has again been able to help affiliated clubs secure leases, consents and opportunities for wildfowling. By providing this support BASC can ensure that where wildfowling takes place, it is carried out with a sustainable and responsible approach.”
John Dryden, a member of BASC Council and chairman of BASC’s wildfowling liaison committee, said: “This is good news for the sport and BASC-affiliated clubs. It is also testament to the expertise and professionalism of the BASC wildfowling team who work tirelessly to assist wildfowlers across the UK.”
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