Speculation over the future of the Marine Bill, which will impose a right of public access in England on coastal land such as that owned by wildfowling clubs, was raised last week when full-page advertisements in The Times and The Guardian newspapers urged Gordon Brown to include the Bill in The Queen’s Speech next month.

The advertisements, paid for by organisations including the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB, exhorted the Prime Minister to “ensure this year’s Queen’s Speech includes a strong Marine Bill”. The Speech will take place in early December and if the Bill is dropped it is effectively removed from the Government’s agenda due to pressure of other legislation — principally concerned with economic stability. An Early Day Motion calling on the Government to include the Marine Bill has been backed by more than 80 MPs and at Prime Minister’s Questions Mr Brown last week announced: “The Government continues to prepare the Bill for introduction early in the fourth Session and does not intend to reduce its scope.”

The rest of this article appears in 20 November issue of Shooting Times.

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