As a result of the improved weather conditions, today (Wednesday 21 December 2022), the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has lifted the call for restraint in the shooting of waterfowl in the UK, which was put in place last week (14 December 2022, see details below).
The decision has been made following three consecutive thaw days across England, Scotland and Wales, allowing for the ground to unfreeze, and feeding and roosting opportunities to open back up for waterfowl.
Although the call for voluntary restraint has been lifted, people who shoot, along with other countryside users such as dog walkers, ramblers, bird watchers, horse riders, and canoeists and kayakers, are being asked to continue to consider their local conditions, and to take care not to cause unnecessary disturbance to birds which may still be struggling to recover from the recent adverse conditions.
Detailed information on severe weather procedures, including voluntary restraint and statutory restraint, along with a daily update on the situation in all parts of Great Britain is available on the British Association for Shooting and Conservation website. Further information on the scheme is also available on JNCC's website.
The announcement on 14 December 2022 is provided below.
14 December 2022
Countryside users asked to take care not to disturb birds in severe weather
Due to the recent widespread severe weather, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has today (Wednesday 14 December 2022) called for a period of Voluntary Restraint in shooting and other disturbance which may negatively affect geese, wild duck, released duck, woodcock, snipe, golden plover, coot and moorhen.
This decision was reached following discussion among the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs), governments, NGOs and the shooting community. During a period of voluntary restraint, countryside users are asked to take extra care not to cause unnecessary disturbance to birds which may be struggling in these severe conditions. Consideration is needed around activities like shooting, dog walking, rambling, bird watching/ringing and canoeing or kayaking. The decision to show restraint should be made by individuals where feeding or roosting is affected by snow or ice, and should be based on local observations of the condition of the birds and their habitats.
The call for Voluntary Restraint is made following seven days of severe weather. If freezing conditions persist, statutory suspension of waterfowl shooting could take effect from the 14th day of severe weather.
Detailed information on severe weather procedures, voluntary restraint and a daily update on the situation in all parts of Great Britain is available on the British Association for Shooting and Conservation website. Further information on the scheme is also available on JNCC's website.