Findhorn shooters’ association given final chance to accept Permit scheme

COUNCILLORS HAVE DECIDED to delay consideration of two petitions submitted by groups in favour of Wildfowling at Findhorn Bay and one calling on a total ban.

The decision came today at the economic development and infrastructure committee who said they will review the success – or otherwise – of a voluntary permit scheme that has been put in place for the 2017/18 wildfowling season.

Meanwhile, councillors have given an instruction that shooting on council-owned land in the area will not be permitted above the mean high-water mark – signage to that effect will be installed on council land at the Bay.

Police Scotland and shooting associations will also be informed in writing of that decision.

Committee chairman John Cowe praised the recent efforts of the chair of the Findhorn Bay Nature Reserve’s management committee, Roy Dennis, who had committed a great deal of his personal time engaging with residents, shooting association and the council in creating the voluntary scheme.

Geese on a tranquil Findhorn Bay (pic: Patsy Goodsir)

However, several local wildfowlers insist that they will not adhere to the permit system and carry on with their sport.

Councillor Cowe said: “In my view, it would be premature to make a decision on the petitions which have been lodged from the Friends of Findhorn Bay and from the wildfowlers.

“We should give the voluntary scheme a chance to succeed, rather than assume that because the Scottish Association for Countryside Sports is not in favour, that it will be an out and out failure.

“I reiterate to all parties that a huge amount of work has gone in to this voluntary scheme and would encourage all wildfowlers to sign up for their permits and adhere to the scheme.”

During the meeting today several councillors expressed their dismay that despite all the efforts made to find a solution some appear unwilling to accept the permit scheme.