We are now two months into the shooting season on the Findhorn Bay and it is clear that many shooters are refusing to take part in the voluntary scheme set up to regulate behaviour on the bay.
Only 18 permits have been issued and it is evident that there are members of the shooting fraternity who are going out of their way to accentuate the fact that they will not respect the voluntary scheme, nor even make some effort to observe the spirit of its aims.
Clearly there will have to be a considerable change of approach over the next two months by many of the
wildfowlers if the public, and particularly the Moray Councillors, are to believe that there is any willingness on the part of many of the wildfowlers to accept change, in the way that shooting is conducted on the bay.
Even at this late stage, I would urge those who enjoy shooting to have a rethink.
All that is being asked is that you take part in this temporary, voluntary scheme which, despite the
protestations by some to the contrary, was set up with the co-operation of all willing stakeholders.
Those who did not take part in the discussions did so of their own volition and their continued refusal to give the scheme a chance to work can only make a more lasting agreement less easy to achieve.
Therefore, I challenge local shooters in particular, to register for their permits now and at the end of the season I look forward to hearing how the wildfowlers intend to broker an agreement, based on the successes and failures of the present voluntary regulations.
Permits are available from the secretary of the Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve at www.fblnr.org