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We need your help to lobby for a shooting ban on Findhorn Bay
 
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FRIENDS OF FINDHORN BAY NEWS

Time to Lobby for a Shooting Ban

1st February 2016

Dear Friends,

First and foremost, many thanks to the 808 individuals who signed the shooting ban petition and to the 120 or so folk who attended the public meeting in Kinloss on 14th December. 

As many of you already know, our aim is to promote the best ways to make Findhorn Bay a peaceful and enjoyable place for the majority of local people and a safe haven for the wildlife that lives there.

Since submitting the petition to Moray Council on 21st December, the Steering Group of Friends of Findhorn Bay has been busy with lobbying, media exposure and researching the management practices of other Nature Reserves in Scotland.

In terms of the petition process, Moray Council's Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee will hold a preliminary hearing on 8th March 2016. At that meeting, the Committee will decide whether to (i) accept the call for a ban on shooting in the Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve, (ii) ask for a full hearing at a future date, or (iii) reject the petition.

Before then we need your help to lobby local Councillors and MSPs.
 
We ask you to please write or email your MSP and/or local Moray Councillors to let them know your personal experiences and observations in relation to the shooting, noise disturbance, killing and injuring of birds, and the pollution left by the shooters on Findhorn Bay. If you are in favour of a total ban on shooting in the Nature Reserve, please say so in your letter.

The contact details of y
our MSP and local Councillors are below. The more letters our local and national representatives get, the more pressure they will be under to make a change for the better.

At the end of this newsletter is Friends of Findhorn Bay's summary reasons for a ban, in case you need inspiration as to what to say!

Let's hold the vision of a vibrant winter ecotourism economy, which will benefit the whole area.
 
Your petition signature was just the first step... Now is the time to make sure your voice is heard by writing to:-

MEMBERS of the SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT WARD 8 MORAY COUNCILLORS (FORRES AND FINDHORN): For those living beyond Moray Ward 8, please get in touch with us at nature@findhornbay.scot for Councillor contacts for your area. Your voice is just as important, because Councillors from many Moray Wards sit on the Council Committee that will consider the petition.

Thank you for your help and support. This next 5 weeks before the petition hearing is a critical time to let our politicians know that the majority of people are determined to see an end to the shooting on the Bay! 

And lastly - if you received this newsletter from a friend and you would like to join our newsletter mailing list to receive future news, please sign up for updates here.
 
Shooting Ban Petition - Key Point Summary
  • Friends of Findhorn Bay are petitioning Moray Council for a total ban on shooting in the Findhorn Bay Local Nature Reserve, for the benefit of the majority of people who wish to enjoy the Reserve, and in the interests of the many protected species that dwell on Findhorn Bay. At the end of 2015, over 800 local people signed a petition calling for a ban on shooting in the Nature Reserve.
  • The increase in shooting has led to more noise disturbance for both people and wildlife, from very early in the morning to late at night, six days per week.
  • The increasing number of camouflaged men with guns is intimidating to many and these armed individuals are currently being given priority over the general public in being able to move freely around the Bay. A growing number of injured, dying and dead geese are being encountered by the public, as well as used gunshot cartridges and other litter. Illegal lead shot cartridges have also been found. 
  • Many local people are now actively avoiding the Nature Reserve - especially the South Eastern corner near Kinloss - during the 6 month shooting season, which runs from 1st September to 20th February each year. Thus, peaceful activities such as walking, birdwatching and photography are made either impossible, extremely difficult or completely unappealing due to the presence of the shooters.
  • A shooting permit system has been called for a number of times, but since 2005 has been declined by Moray Council on grounds of cost. A ban on shooting in the Nature Reserve would not add any on-going costs to the Council's already burdened finances. It would also open up the untapped and currently unpromoted potential of peaceful winter tourism activities being brought into the area.
  • As a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Natura 2000 Special Protection Area, an EU Special Area of Conservation and a RAMSAR wetland of international importance for its bird life, Findhorn Bay could and should be protecting the large number of birds that are on the IUCN’s ‘Near-Threatened list’ and which reside on Findhorn Bay.
  • The Bay could also be a unique local site of great educational value, whilst bringing in wildlife tourism and thus fulfilling one of the primary aims of its designation as a Nature Reserve.
Many thanks for all your support. We will be in touch again soon.

From the Steering Group
of Friends of Findhorn Bay
 
 

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