A shooting permit system has been put in place for Findhorn Bay by the Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve (FBLNR) Management Committee for the forthcoming shooting season, which started on 1st September 2017 and runs to 20th February 2018. Details of the permit system, the areas where shooting is permitted and how to apply for a permit are on FBLNR’s website:
The permit system is the result of many months of negotiations led by Roy Dennis, Chair of the FBLNR Management Committee. Local and national shooting groups participated in the negotiations, as well as local ornithologists and conservationists, and members of the citizens group, Friends of Findhorn Bay (FFB). FFB represents the views of more than 800 local people who signed a formal petition to Moray Council in late 2015, asking for an outright ban on the shooting of geese and ducks on the Bay.
Lisa Mead, lead petitioner and steering group member of FFB said, “This is a step in the right direction, which FFB went along with in the hope that it will bring some relief to the dire situation on Findhorn Bay during the next shooting season. Since Moray Council had no appetite to pass a byelaw to ban the shooting, we have sought to find middle ground. We argued for 3 days per week with no shooting at all, in addition to Sundays, which is already a no shooting day in Scotland. Unfortunately, we have ended up with only one extra day of no shooting, on Mondays. We will go along with this for the coming season, however we feel it is still unfair to local residents, especially those living in Kinloss, who will still be woken up extremely early in the morning by shotgun fire, 5 days per week for 6 months of the year. I don’t think the people who shoot here have any idea how upset local people are by their actions. There are many hundreds of people who just don’t want any shooting here at all.”
Adrian Hutchins, convener of FFB added, “I very much hope that the voluntary permit arrangements will bring some improvement to the situation, however we have said all along that what is needed is a local byelaw to regulate or ideally ban the shooting. That still needs to be put in place and so we urge the Council to face their responsibilities and get on with passing a byelaw.”