What is Wildfowling 

Wildfowling is the pursuit of ducks, geese and waders on the foreshore. The foreshore is the “area between the low water and high water marks of an ordinary spring tide”. Effectively, anyone with a valid Shot Gun Certificate has a right to shoot on the Scottish foreshore. This right can be modified by legislation, however, giving authorities the ability to introduce byelaws that affect wildfowling.

In East Lothian byelaws require that any wildfowler wanting to shoot at either  John Muir Country Park or  Aberlady Bay must apply for (and receive) a permit to carry out wildfowling. An administration charge is levied for the processing of applications.

Permit schemes were brought in, in conjunction with wildfowling regulatory bodies, to regulate wildfowling on areas where wildfowling pressure was not sustainable, and the solitary nature of wildfowling was being eroded.

What species can be shot, and when?

The wildfowling season starts on the 1st September and ends on 20th February.

Shooting of ducks and geese is prohibited on Sundays and Christmas Day.

At John Muir Country Park, 3 species of goose and 9 species of duck can be shot – all others are protected. At Aberlady only duck may be shot. 3 wader species -  golden plover, snipe and woodcock can also be shot.

Apply for wildfowling permits

You can now apply for wildfowling permits online.

Apply for wildfowling permits