HPMAs should not apply to inter-tidal zones, insists BASC

A wetland

BASC has reaffirmed its position against inter-tidal zones being included within Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in its response to a Defra consultation on the progress of the five pilot study areas.

BASC highlighted its support to protecting important habitat related features but explained that the setting of such severe and prohibitive restrictions, within the inter-tidal zones, would alienate local user groups such as wildfowling and other shooting related activities. It would also create designation overlaps, and with it, cause confusion and inconsistencies.

James Green, BASC head of wildfowling, said: “After receiving assurances to the contrary, it is disappointing to see inter-tidal zones still included in the plans. Their continued inclusion will lead to more issues than environmental gains.

“Fortunately, none of the pilot HPMAs have an impact on wildfowling or shooting related activities, but that does not mean the next set will not.”

He added: “Moving forward, BASC will be requesting that wildfowling clubs, and other important user groups, are actively involved during the site identification stage of future pilot HPMAs. As interested stakeholders, their concerns must not be ignored.

“Wildfowling is an important cultural activity that adds significant value to the environment, personal wellbeing of individuals and local communities.”