HL Deb 08 February 1999 vol 597 cc6-7WA
The Earl of Mar and Kellie

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the classification of the River Forth as a Special Protection Area will extinguish the ancient right to shoot on the foreshore in the Special Protection Area. [HI.721]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (Lord Sewel)

The Firth of Forth has been identified by the Government as a potential Special Protection Area under the EC Wild Birds Directive (79/409/EEC), but has not yet been classified as such. The Government are obliged to take appropriate steps to avoid, in a Special Protection Area, significant disturbance of the species for which the area has been designated. Subject to that test, shooting is possible within a Special Protection Area and takes place within a number of existing Special Protection Areas, including the Upper Solway Flats and Marshes.