A: Numbers of breeding snipe have plummeted in England over the past 30 years due to loss of habitat.

The British population of woodcock is also in serious decline, though the reasons are less clear.

Fortunately, most of the woodcock and snipe that winter in Britain come from northern Europe, where populations remain healthy.

If you want to help local populations it’s probably best not to shoot these birds early in the season. Many people (myself included) refrain from shooting them altogether.

My advice is shoot with restraint, and only if you enjoy eating them.