In this week’s 30 September issue of Shooting Times, HRH Prince Philip meets with Shooting Times’columnist Robin Page to discuss the countryside, shooting, the UK’s wildlife and changes to the environment and population affecting them.

Commenting on changes in the countryside, in the interview Prince Philip identifies population increase and rampant development as a contributory factor: “Villages used to have to be more or less self sufficient. They had a butcher, a baker and a shoemaker. Now that has all gone because of the way retailing is concentrated in big centres and multi-stores.”

It is not only the changing nature of populations that Prince Philip identifies; he is also concerned by the issue of population growth: “I think that the greatest problem for the future is population growth. The population has quadrupled in my lifetime.”

Discussing how this relates to environmental issues, he said: “People go on about this carbon footprint, but they fail to realise that the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere is entirely dependent on the number of people living on the earth.”

On farming and the economics and regulation of agriculture: “…they are constantly trying to produce cattle that will produce more milk and less cow – like a hat-rack with an udder attached to. They can’t really go on making such a travesty of an animal. There must be a limit to this. Even more ridiculous is the fact that milk is actually cheaper than bottled water. It seems quite bizarre to me.”

Discussing shooting, Prince Philip comments on the controversial subject of the management of birds, such as crows, magpies, jays, and raptors, which predate on both important gamebird and threatened songbird populations: “If you are interested in species you want to see these birds around, but you don’t want to have so many of them that they interfere with another population that you want to see and can exploit. So I see the point of protecting these birds, but I don’t see that blanket protection is the best way of doing it.”

His view on shooting is formed in part through his experience of shooting at Sandringham, which continues to be largely a wild pheasant shoot. Commenting on shooting at Sandringham: “I think that shooting is effectively cropping and what you do is take the surplus and make sure that you have a crop next year.”

The full interview appears in Shooting Times, on sale September 30.

  • Will

    At last, a voice of reason. Can HRH Prince Phillip run for Prime Minister or perhaps President of the EU?!

  • Taff

    I totaly agree with Pronce Phillip. Supermarkets are destroying our villages and small towns. They are greedy and not care about UK farmers. Just like the EU is destroying our post offices we seem to have no control of our country no more. I pray and hope one day all this will be reversed but we have to get rid of labour Government.

  • David Chamberlin

    It was very heartening to read The Duke of Edinburgh’s views on the demise of villages.

    A case in point locally, is the application by Sainsbury’s to build a Supermarket in Bishops Waltham, Hants, which has been bitterly opposed by the local population and local businesses. e.g. The Fishmonger, Butcher, Greengrocer, Local Co-op Store, Delicatessen and others. Bishops Waltham still has a loyal local community, but for how long if this development is allowed to go through?

    Perhaps His Royal Highness could bring some influence to bare in this case?

    D.Chamberlin, Botley, Hants.

  • Nicholas Gordon

    It is really good to hear genuine concern voiced for the plight of the real countryside.
    The Duke has always had a deep and genuine love of the countryside and its traditions and I am very pleased that he has spoken out in its defence.
    His degree of knowledge and wisdom in these matters is second to none and it is a great pity that his views are not listened to or sought by those that currently hold the reins in this nation.

    Nicholas Gordon

    http://nicholasgordonbooks.blogspot.com/