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Efforts to be renewed on Findhorn Bay compromise

Press release   •   Sep 20, 2016 11:50 BST

Renewed efforts are to be made to reach a compromise between conservationists and wildfowlers about shooting in Findhorn Bay.

Moray councillors were told today that the local nature reserve management committee would take the lead role in finding a workable agreement acceptable to all sides.

It was thought that a compromise had been reached earlier this summer after Moray Council facilitated discussions involving all stakeholders.

That followed the submission of a petition from local conservationists and community representatives calling for a blanket ban on wildfowling in the bay.

However, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation said it could not support the voluntary agreement because it had not been party to the final discussions.

The matter was brought back to today’s meeting of the council’s economic development and infrastructure services committee at which the chairman, Councillor John Cowe, proposed deferring further consideration to allow the management committee of the Findhorn Bay local nature reserve to facilitate further discussions between all the interested parties.

Councillor Cowe said it was unfortunate that agreement had not been reached before the start of the current wildfowling season.

However the British Association for Shooting and Conservation had now written to say they were willing to seek an agreement and the local nature reserve committee were willing to take the lead role in setting up a sub-committee to bring all stakeholders together.

“It is clear to me that the status quo, where unregulated shooting takes place, or a complete ban on shooting would not be in the interests of all stakeholders and as such it is in everyone’s interests to reach a compromise that all stakeholders can support.

“It is important that we re-energise the process by handing over and empowering those that have the greatest interest, knowledge and long-term stake in the management of the nature reserve to find a solution.”

Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 95,510 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.

Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.

Headquartered in  Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.

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