Wild Justice launches petition to help conserve woodcock


Wild Justice has launched a petition aiming to help conserve Eurasian Woodcock by limiting the shooting season for the species.

Woodcock is Red Listed in Britain, with breeding numbers severely reduced on historic levels. The resident population is bolstered each year by continental migrants and some 160,000 birds are shot for recreation each season.

An estimated 160,000 Eurasian Woodcock are shot in Britain each season (Helge Sorensen).

Currently, the shooting season opens in Scotland on 1 September, and on 1 October in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Wild Justice – a non-profit environmental organisation run by Chris Packham, Dr Ruth Tingay and Dr Mark Avery – is calling for the season to be shortened, to give better protection to the breeding population.

In March, Wild Justice wrote to George Eustice, the Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and to Edwin Poots, the Northern Ireland Environment Minister, asking them both to shorten the shooting season. To date, no reply from either has thus far been received.

Shooting seasons can be adjusted very easily, without requiring new primary legislation. The power to vary the open and close dates for England, Wales and Scotland lies with the Defra Secretary of State.

You can sign the petition here.