In 1954 a group of like-minded people held a meeting at the Ship Albion pub in Spalding. The reason for this meeting was to identify ways that wildfowling could be protected and secured for future generations. The outcome was the formation of Spalding & District Wildfowlers Association. Since that inaugural meeting, the Association has gone from strength to strength and in July 2002, the Association changed its status to a Company Limited by Guarantee (a move welcomed by the Trustees).
Spalding & District Wildfowlers Association Limited (SDWA Ltd) has wildfowling rights on marshes around the mouth of the River Welland within the Wash, one of the largest estuaries in Britain. To secure our shooting, long term leases have been secured from both the Crown and local landowners around the mouth of the River Welland. Our members have access to approximately 6 miles of foreshore. This area stretches from Dawsmere Creek, Gedney Drove End to the River Welland (Hare and Hounds access).
Add to this the 60 acres of inland marsh on the Ouse Washes, which the SDWA Ltd co-own, and there is enough shooting for all.
Situated on the east coast of England in the county of Lincolnshire, the Wash incorporates the estuaries of four rivers; the Ouse, Nene, Witham and Welland. The lack of disturbance on the vast areas of flats and abundance of suitable feeding areas make the Wash an ideal site for wintering wildfowl. Because of its ornithological importance the Wash has been designated a Ramsar Site, Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Protection Area (SPA).
With its' very large populations of wildfowl, the Wash has been a traditional focal point for coastal wildfowling. The marshes shot over by the SDWA Ltd are visited by most wildfowling quarry during the season. The highlight of the season has to be the arrival of Pinkfooted Geese from mid October onwards. In the 1930's people relied on wildfowling and fishing to earn a living. Today, wildfowling continues to be a form of recreation valued by a considerable number of people, in particular, the members of the twelve clubs that shoot around its' coastline. Many people have enjoyed the magic of wildfowling on the Wash including the late Sir Peter Scott and legendary Kenzie Thorpe.