If we can’t do this – isn’t it time someone explained exactly what you are allowed to do? People have mentioned the BASC website but I don’t have a computer.

Shooting legal expert

DAVID FROST

The law is vague and in many ways this is no bad thing. The bottom line is that the woodpigeon is an agricultural pest and needs to be controlled.

That is why general licences are issued. In Wales you may shoot for the purposes of crop protection, not sport, but (unlike in England and Scotland) you do not need to satisfy yourself beforehand that non-lethal methods of control are either ineffective or impractical.

In most cases the reality is that non-lethal methods are ineffective as far as woodpigeons are concerned.

Pigeons range over a wide area and you are protecting crops even if you are not actually shooting over the crop in question.

From what you say I believe your shooting is protecting crops. Viewing licences via the BASC website is the easiest way to do it.

If you don’t have a computer you will need to obtain a paper copy of the licence from Natural England or the equivalent in the devolved governments.

In Scotland, but not in England and Wales, it is a legal requirement that you read the licence before you go shooting.

It is important to note that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have different licences and you cannot assume that what is lawful in one country is lawful in the others.

You must read and understand the licence that applies to the country in which you are shooting.