UNITED APPROACH . . . left to right: Scottish Natural Heritage’s Jonathan Warren, the Scottish Solway Wildfowlers Association’s Ray Schiller, Chief Inspector David McCallum from Police Scotland and centre manager at the WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre Brian Morrell
Several organisations have joined forces to explore ways of working in harmony to ensure the welfare and conservation of the wildfowl who visit the area over the winter months.
Scottish Solway Wildfowlers Association (SSWA), the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and Police Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) have been holding discussions, and SSWA chairman David Campbell said: “We fully acknowledge the diversity of those activities which take place along the shore and traditional, responsible wildfowling is one which we hope will carry on for years to come.
“There has to be give and take, though, and we all have to understand that.”
He added: “We want to ensure that the wildfowl population is not put at risk through indiscriminate shooting and undue disturbance.
“To that end we have worked hard over many years with members of our own association, visiting wildfowlers and other organisations to better manage our activities in a way which maintains the conservation of the area.”
WWT Caerlaverock Wetland Centre manager Brian Morrell has described the meetings as a ‘a really positive initiative’, while Jonathan Warren of Scottish Natural Heritage says that everyone with an interest in wildfowl has a common goal of conserving the Solway area.
And Chief Inspector David McCallum, wildlife crime co-ordinator for Police Scotland, said: “It was good to meet with the various representatives of those who have an interest in the conservation of what is a very important Site of Special Scientific Interest.
“I am reassured that the best interests of the wildlife and wildfowl are being served by everyone being able to sit down and talk openly about how their respective organisations operate locally in order to help maintain the status quo in such an important area.”