Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Richard Lochhead MSP has met with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation for talks on concerns over wildfowling at Findhorn Bay following the collapse of a voluntary agreement between local wildfowlers and those campaigning against shooting in the bay.

Moray’s MSP discussed local concerns with BASC Director, Colin Shedden, and  Training Officer, Donald Muir.  During the meeting the representatives from BASC made it clear that they are in favour of a permit system being introduced, which would allow behaviour of wildfowlers to be controlled.

Speaking after the meeting, Richard Lochhead said:

“For many months now there has been growing concern about  the scale and impact of the recent levels of wildfowling in the Findhorn Nature Reserve, with reports that there has been a significant increase in the number of people coming from across the UK to shoot in the bay.  There’s been a considerable backlash in the local community due to some visitors not respecting the local environment, leaving litter and carcasses lying around, and it’s absolutely clear is that the status quo is not an option.

“My meeting with BASC, who clearly have an important role to play, was positive and they made it clear to me that they have for a long time supported the introduction of a permit system with by-laws at Findhorn.  Indeed, it seems that all stakeholders, including SNH and the RSPB, all support the introducing a permit system to control wildfowling with the Moray Council being the exception.

“Findhorn Nature Reserve appears to be the only place in Scotland where there are no regulation of wildfowling where there should be.  What we need now is for the Council to adopt a can-do attitude and at the very least calculate the costs of a permit system to inform the debate.  The shooting season is now underway and I don’t think anyone wants to see another season go by without a solution being put in place.  A permit system with by-laws is a no brainer in the case of Findhorn and the sooner we all accept that the better."