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Taw & Torridge Wildfowling Club

See what the papers have said about us:-
  • Shooting Times - 1998
  • Sporting Shooter - 2004
Some past events:
  • Past Events

The formation of the club in 1975 took place as the result of the RSPB and the Devon Birdwatching & Preservation Society's efforts to turn the entire estuary into a bird sanctuary.

A small group of wildfowlers decided a club was the best means to unite local wildfowlers by uniting them with a base to negotiate with the Crown Estates, the RSPB, English Nature, the MoD, and town and parish councils.

They affiliated the club to the Wildfowlers Association of Great Britain and Ireland (WAGBI now BASC) and 11 years later after many problems and discussions a Crown lease was finally signed. Roger Heywood, Malcolm Joy, Martin Burge and Matt Bluge secured the club's future and the club still benefits today from the business like way in which the club was set up and run.

At the time of agreeing details of the boundaries reserve areas were set up by the club where no shooting takes place, one of these areas is adjacent to the RSPB reserve at Isley Marsh. Many thanks are due to Matt Bluge who as Club Secretary did long hours establishing the procedures for the Club for a period of many years that are still in use today.

The club membership rule of 100 is still adhered to, also is the emphasis on Duck returns from the members which are also sent to the BASC every year. These basic rules still mean the marsh is not over shot and disturbed with around just 40% on the members actually shooting on one day or more each season. Around 60% of the days when shooting is allowed (Sundays not allowed and not included) there is no member shooting on the Marsh.

The results of the annual harvest are compared with the bird counts from the wardens and members are still given these figures annually. Members are encouraged more than ever to support conservation and numbers shot represent a very small % of all legal quarry on the marsh.

In 2005, Canada Geese were added to the English list of bird species that can Canada Geese be controlled by authorised persons all year round under the terms and conditions of open general licences. For more information see the BASC website . On the marsh however they are only shot as wildfowl quarry during the shooting season from 1st September to 20th February. They were introduced to this country in the late 40s early 50s and have bred to a stage where there are now tens of thousands spread over the country.