Gloucestershire Wildfowlers Association News

May 2019 Newsletter

Gloucestershire Wildfowlers Association Newsletter - May 2019

West of England Game Fair
Many thanks to everyone who helped the club at the West of England game fair over the two days the event was held. Much interest in the club both in terms of the wildfowling and conservation activity we undertake was generated from this event and those who attended in support of the club worked hard to promote the GWCA and our wildfowling and conservation activities, so once again many thanks everyone.
The AGM was held at the new venue of the Anchor Inn, Epney this year as a cost effective change from the Fromebridge mill and proved to be a popular evening with many members turning up and having an opportunity to hear what the clubs committee has been doing on their behalf over the last twelve months,and ask any questions they wanted to .Also the evening was an opportunity to socialise with other members during the cliose season with fun events like the raffle raising a good sum of money for the club. Many thanks to everyone who worked to make this evening such an enjoyable occasion and also to those who donated raffle prizes.
Robert Nirac Trophy Winner
This years winner of the Robert Nirac trophy was Stu Whitehall, who throughout the year has worked tirelessly for the club amongst many things assisting promoting the club at the various shows we have attended, helping with the wildfowl ID course, assisting on club bays such as the ladies day we ran in conjunction with BASC, and assisting associate members on flights. I am sure you will all agree that Stu is a worthy recipient of the trophy given all the hard work he has put in for the club over the last year, well done Stu.
Club Name Change
During the course of the AGM the members of the then GWA were asked if they would vote on a proposed name change of the club from the Gloucestershire Wildfowling Association to the Gloucestershire Wildfowling and Conservation Association as this was felt to be a better reflection on the conservation work that the club does on its marshes in addition to our wildfowling activity. I am pleased to say that the suggestion for a change of name was voted on during the meeting and passed by the membership of the club and that the club is now known as the Gloucestershire Wildfowling and Conservation Association
Gun Dog Training Session
Ian Whitehall is running a gun dog training event at Arlingham on May 16thfor any member of the club who is interested in training their dog either as a beginner or improver. Anyone interested in attending please meet Ian at the Old Passage Inn, Arlingham (postcode for satnav GL2 7JR) for 19.00 hrs. If this event proves to be successful in terms of membership interest Ian will run more of them during the summer months and lighter evenings. As well as being a useful training session this is also a social event for members of the club to get together during the close season.
If you're interested in coming along with your dog please contact Ian on ************ or via email at

General Licenses
As most of you will be aware the three general licenses relating to pest control of wild birds were withdrawn by Natural England following a challenge regarding their legality by campaign group Wild Justice. Given the fiasco this has caused particularly at a time of year when many who engage in pest control activities rely on these licenses most, Natural England has been relieved of any decision making regarding their replacement with hopefully more robust licenses in the future, and DEFRA will now be looking at suitable replacements.
As part of your BASC membership you should all have received an email from BASC asking you to email your views to DEFRA and also complete a short online survey so that DEFRA know the true feelings of those who either shot or employed other methods formally listed on the general licenses GL04, 05 & 06 to control pest species.
Let us not forget that Wild Justice managed to raise some £30k to fund their legal challenge via crowdfunding in a very short space of time. If the only voice heard is that of campaign groups who understand little of the countryside, wildlife and land management then both the decision makers and general public will naturally be drawn into making false conclusions.
Whatever your own personal views may be of BASC as an organisation can you all please seriously consider contacting DEFRA and completing the short survey on the BASC email link, let's all make our voices heard on this issue.

New Associate Red Book
Nic Ling has now updated the Red books issued to Associate members of the club when they join us for their first season. He has included a few questions aimed at getting associates to study the marsh maps and club rules included in the book.
The questions, whilst not a test, deal with marsh boundaries / distances, car parking arrangements at certain marshes, number of visits an associate can make to certain marshes during the season, and quarry species that can be shot at certain marshes.
Hopefully associates will treat their red books as a constant source of reference throughout the first season that they have with the club, Nic has put in a lot of work updating these books over the last few seasons so that they are user friendly and help associates to progress through to full membership.

Please note: if you have not yet paid your subscriptions then they are overdue.
Under the club rules, there is a £10 surcharge for late payment.
If you have paid by BACS before this date or have a standing order in place with the first payment on the 1st of May and have failed to send me a renewal form, then please do so as soon as possible.
Late payment causes a lot of extra work for the Treasurer and myself and a lot of mucking about redoing BASC subscriptions.
If you leave it too late, then you will have effectively left the club and it will be highly unlikely that your rejoining would be effective before the start of the season as I am away for most of August.
NIc Ling