Councillor hopes that his peacemaking attempts will end shooting war

John Cowe - hopes that peacemaking attempt will bring parties together
John Cowe – hopes that peacemaking attempt will bring parties together

AFTER CHAIRING A meeting of interested parties in the row over sport shooting on the Findhorn Bay nature reserve, Councillor John Cowe has said he is ‘hopeful’ that a compromise can be found.

Speaking after Monday’s crunch meeting that involved the two groups who have presented rival petitions to the local authority, Councillor Cowe said that he hoped that each side would give a little way so that peace can return to the Bay.

As well as the two opposing factions, who have between them rallied well over 2000 signatories in favour of continuing wildfowling or ending it completely, members of the Findhorn Community Council, RSPB, British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Findhorn Bay Nature Reserve were present.

Making it clear from the outset that his role was to facilitate the meeting without the Council favouring any of the available options, Councillor Cowe said: “It is up to both sides to find a compromise they can all live with. Like all compromises it will not be exactly what each side wants, but we all have to give a little if we are to share the same spaces.

“I felt there was some movement from both sides so I’m hopeful that an accommodation can be reached before the start of next season.”

Following clarification of the views of all parties after Monday’s meeting, Moray Council will invite those concerned to further discussions with a view to finding common ground before the shooting season is due to reopen in September.

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