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East Coast Wildfowling Conference
A report from Basil Hasler


Nearly 100 delegates attended the the third East Coast Wildfowling Conference at Hillington near King's Lynn on Saturday October 8th, hosted by the nine clubs of the Wash Wildfowlers' Joint Council.

Richard Hearn of Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reported that most of our wildfowl populations were healthy, but that migrating birds are wintering farther and farther north as our winters get milder. Rob Limb of British Sugar described how changes demanded by the EU will lead to a decrease in the growing of sugar beet - the beet waste is the major food supply for the pink-footed geese which have increased so much in recent years, so the consequences are worrying.

Simon Breasley of Thyme Consultants was more optimistic, showing how clubs and individuals could take advantage of many forms of grant aid to acquire and improve their wetland holdings, and there were useful sessions on matters ranging from the limitations of insurance to the best way to respond to antis.

Delegates also enjoyed seeing art by Julian Novorol, John Paley and Simon Trinder, and a fine display of historic guns and equipment by Terry Gladwell and friends.

The conference was supported by Shooting Times, Attleborough Accessories, Thyme Consultants, Tidepool Wildfowling and Whittlesey Gunshop. A variety of goods, fowling trips and art donated by the sponsors and many others were raffled and auctioned, raising a total of nearly 2000 in the room to defray expenses. As at previous East Coast events the large surplus will be used to promote wildfowling, especially among the young.

Further information from Basil Hasler, 01945 780358,

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