The beginning of LDWA

Shooting has been taking place over the marshes of Lytham, Warton and Freckleton for many years, with documentation going back to at least the 1800’s. Lytham & District Wildfowlers was setup in 1954 by 5 founder members, from left to right in the image: Cliff Boardman, Tom Martin, Eric Carlisle, Walter Carlisle and Joe Rainsforth.

From strength to strength

LDWA first leased shooting rights from the Duchy of Lancaster followed by Preston Corporation before going on to acquire the majority of the salt marsh on the north side of the Ribble. LDWA and Natural England and its predecessors have worked together since 1987 when the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC) gave the club a financial donation that assisted the Association to make its first purchase of marshland and then again several years later when the NCC grant aided the Association to purchase Preston Corporations marshland. It was at this time that the clubs first Marsh Management Plan was created. However, many years before in the mid 1960’s, LDWA created a no shooting restricted access sanctuary area which accounted for approximately one third of the marsh it had shooting rights over, it also introduced bag limits and restrictions on when members could shoot .

LDWA have been much praised over the years by English Nature/Natural England and BASC for our approach to balancing shooting and conservation. In 1995 the Association was awarded the BASC Stanley Duncan Trophy for its conservation efforts and in 2003 the Association was rewarded with the English Nature SSSI Award. In 1995 the then Department of the Environment was cited as recognising that wildfowling management on the Ribble was the best practice in the coastal zone and how much wildfowlers have contributed to the management of the site. In 2010 LDWA bought with its own funds a substantial additional area of the estuary from Fylde Borough Council, making up the remainder of the marsh on the north side.