Uneasy truce between opposing wildfowling camps

Wildfowling to resume at Findhorn Bay on September 1
Wildfowling to resume at Findhorn Bay on September 1

WILFOWLING WILL RESUME in Findhorn Bay from next month as an uneasy truce appears to have been called by the opposing factions.

Earlier this year campaigners sought to ban the shooting of wild geese in the area – a move that was strongly resisted by those who take part in the historic sport.

The Friends of Findhorn Bay group was behind a petition to halt wildfowling, claiming that birds were being shot far too close to common and residential areas in particular close to Kinloss village. An attempt was made to force Moray Council into creating a by-law that would ban wildfowling in the area.

However, talks between the parties have produced an agreement that will see wildfowlers voluntarily not shooting in a particularly contentious area when the traditional hunting season resumes on September 1.

There is also to be a ban on shooting in the Bay on Mondays and Tuesdays of each week, with those days being reserved for the use of bird watchers, while shooting at the eastern end of the bay will be prohibited after 10am.

Leading campaigners against the shoot said that they had agreed “in the spirit of goodwill” to the restrictions rather than the outright ban they wished. Martin Gauld, who organised a counter-campaign on behalf of wildfowlers, said that he and other hunters were “content” with the agreement.

He said: “We can go somewhere else on the days when we can’t shoot at the bay – the protestors asked for a lot and wanted a limit of five guns at the bay each day. That would cause the area to lose a ridiculous amount of money – people would have had to close their businesses.”

Signs will be put in place warning of the new arrangements.