After months of lobbying by pro-shooting groups, the Government announced on 2 June that there will be a right of appeal written into the controversial Marine and Coastal Access Bill.

The amendment means that coastal landowners will now be able to appeal against the right to roam being imposed on their land. The Bill completed its report stage after a debate in the House of Lords on 1 June and had its third reading in Parliament on 8 June.

Pro-shooting groups have said that, though the move is to be welcomed, it does not go far enough. The Country Land & Business Association’s Sarah Slade explained what this development means for shooters: “This right to appeal still does notenable holders of shooting rights to appeal against the line of the route, but shooters will be able to apply to restrict or exclude the new right of access and will be able to appeal if that request is not granted.”

However, BASC’s Conor O’Gorman pointed out that the Government has clarified one area of particular concern for wildfowlers: “Coastal access will not include saltmarsh and mudflats apart from exceptional circumstances. Following lobbying this was clarified by the Government during the Lords’ debate and BASC will ensure that this is the case when the coastal access roll-out actually begins.”

The rest of this article appears in 11th June issue of Shooting Times.

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