Shooting can be beneficial to nature, according to Martin Harper, conservation director of the RSPB.

Speaking at a debate chaired by Ian Coghill, chairman of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), Mr Harper agreed with his fellow panellists that the creation of habitats for shooting, as well as the additional feeding provided by shoots for birds, benefited wild birds.

Also on the panel, which looked at whether reared pheasant shoots had a place in conservation, were Charles Nodder, from the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation; Roger Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire; and Tom Oliver from the GWCT.

Mr Harper also conceded that many of the farms awarded the Nature of Farming Award by the RSPB had shoots on them.

The rest of this article appears in the 24th July issue of Shooting Times.

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