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East Coast Wildfowling Conference 
8th September 2001

Report from John Welburn: Vice Chairman Spalding Wildfowlers

Looking Ahead - Wildfowling in the next ten years

Droves of Wildfowlers descended upon the hospitable Ffolkes Arms Hotel & Country Club on a day that would prove both entertaining and informative.

Breakfast was available from early on and old friends took the opportunity to re-acquaint themselves. Various participating clubs chaired the different sessions and the conference moved forward with Simon Breasley of Thyme Consultants and Fenland WA. He informed the delegates about new funding availability. Further topics included structures to aid land purchase and whole estuary cooperation. Lively intensive debate followed this interesting talk.

After an interval for tea, Tony Laws - BASC, Ian Paterson - English Nature and Paul Fisher - RSPB informed us about the Habitats Directive, Disturbance, Bird Alerts, the CROW act, Consents, Review processes, the Stour model and' last but not least' incorporation of modelling into reviews. This allowed the three speakers to comment on eachothers' talks from their own point of view.

More questions and comments came from the floor prior to the major sponsors, Shooting Times - Jo Rimmer, brittanicgameandshooting.com- Ian Power making presentations. Colin Pearce of Attleborough Accessories was unable to attend so Basil Hasler spoke on his behalf and took the opportunity to suggest that clubs could do worse than approach commercial entities for sponsorship. He did, however, entreat us to offer something positive in return, in particular publicity.

During lunch Paul Wright and William Notton gave an intriguing demonstration of range judgement which was designed to add the bonus of efficient shooting. This was conducted behind the hall in glorious sunshine and allowed folk to stretch their legs.

The first event after lunch was the raffle. The draw was conducted with much merriment and over 300.00 was raised for young wildfowlers.

John Savage - Holbeach WA talked about non-lead ammunition - the current situation and progress with ITM, lessons from steel and views from manufacturers. He had made great efforts to extract empirical technical information in order to assess a comparison with the various types of load against lead.

William Notton - Spalding WA concluded the formal presentations with the likely political issues, other countries' initiatives and in particular from America. Also how Wildfowling and Game shooting should put their own house in order with self-regulation and a Demonstration of Competence.

An open forum was followed by an Auction of Wildfowling Trips art etc. This raised an impressive 1215.00

Throughout the day Ian Power of brittanicgamefishingandshooting.com gave IT and Internet demonstrations. There was a display of East Anglian Wildfowling art - John Paley - Wells WA, John Quin - Ald & Ore WA, Simon Trinder - Fenland & Wells WA.

A well known member showed us some truly nostalgic muzzleloaders that he still uses on a regular basis.

Meeting Closed at 1740 hours.

Basil Hasler - Conference Organiser
Photographs - copyright John Welburn 2001-copyright assigned for the sole purpose of publicising East Coast Wildfowling Conference 2001.