Mr Fox, who was shown around the Castle Hill estate by headkeeper Brian Mitchell, said: ?It was fantastic to see the hard work that goes into making the game industry such a success in the South West.?

?The popularity of game meats such as venison, boar or, in this case, pheasant has increased in recent years due to the publicity it now receives from television chefs ? it is healthy, sustainable and supports the local economy.?

It is thought that the pheasant shooting season on Exmoor alone brings in more than £32million to the area, with more than 120 full-time keepers employed as a result and thousands more supported in local tourism.

However, despite the recent renaissance of game meat, Brian Mitchell said that much work still needed to be done in the UK, with many birds from estates on Exmoor consumed overseas.

He said: ?Every year the Greater Exmoor Shoots send more than 300,000 birds to Belgium because the demand here in the UK is so low. It would be great if the British public rediscovered its love of game. Nothing beats pheasant for flavour.?

For more information on Go Wild with British Game and the Countryside Alliance?s Game-to-Eat campaign, visit www.gametoeat.co.uk