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.

Wildfowling permits

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. Permits are issued in August and are valid 1 September to 20 February.

Species you can shoot and when

  • the wildfowling season starts on 1 September and ends on 20 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 and pay the administration charge