Some of you might have seen this new book reviewed in the Daily Telegraph and elsewhere:
I'd pre-ordered my copy from Amazon and it turned up today. Looks to be a very interesting read, not least because it's one of the few 'conservation' books that is speaking to the benefits of fieldsports.
Robin Sharp, who has written a chapter called "The Great Game: the interaction of field sports and conservation in Britain from the 1950s to 2008" is Emeritus Chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature - see http://www.iucn.org/about/
I think his organisation is what typically we would classify under the title of "bunny-hugging, sandal-wearing, tofu-eating, Organic Nazis"
However, what about this:
"Yet it may come as a surprise to those whose understanding of wildlife conservation is shaped by beguiling television images of 'wild nature' that field sports, as practised over the last 50 years, have been almost universally good for the hunted species and the non-hunted, non-predators that thrive in the same habitat."
"The benefits to biodiversity conservation from shooting sports are very substantial. These [the efforts and effects of fieldsports on habitat] were contributing not only to game conservation, but to the conservation of song birds, waders, butterflies, plants and flowers, on a scale equivalent to that of the statutory conservation agencies, but over a much wider area of the countryside....a contribution which should be acknowledged by conservationists when funding for wildlife programmes from taxpayers is likely to be under extreme pressure for the foreseeable future"
But one note of caution:
"Shooters and hunters, tending to be rugged individualists, seem reluctant to account to the wider world for what they are doing and to explain the benefits that flow from their activities."
I know we all know the above, but it's nice to see it acknowledged by others for once