The former first class cricketer is a passionate game shot and fisherman. Here he shares what he enjoys most about shooting and fishing, what changes he'd make at the RSPB and why the You Forgot the Birds campaign still has much work to do

red kite raptor flying

Tell us about the You Forgot the Birds campaign and the work it is doing.

It’s a network designed to monitor conservation charities and put fair questions to the RSPB about how it’s really protecting birds. We’ll never stop because there has to be a balance.

When the idea of You Forgot the Birds was first circulated, all these people jumped on the bandwagon and I got a fair bit of abuse, which doesn’t bother me in the slightest. But since the parliamentary debate on grouse hit the headlines, these same people have gone back underground. You Forgot the Birds will never stop and there is plenty for us to keep working on; for example the message that gamekeepers do more for moorland preservation and conservation than most people. I was recently shooting on a moor and there were five breeding pairs of peregrines there and on the adjoining moors. We need to get that message across and to help keep things in perspective.

What is your message to 
anti-shooting commentators?

To be frank, what is the point? They talk garbage and I don’t really have a message for them. Are they vegetarians? The grouse on my plate has had a far better life than the chicken on their plate. Grouse is one of the purest free-range foods available. 
If these people want to know the reality of what really happens on a grouse moor then they should go and take a look with their own eyes. Only then will they realise how far they are from the truth.

  1. 1. How and when did you get into shooting?
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  3. 3. What dog do you have?
  4. 4.
  5. 5. If you ran the RSPB what changes would you make to the organisation?
  6. 6.
  7. 7. What is your favourite game to eat and how do you like it cooked?
  8. 8. You enjoy fishing too; tell us a bit about what you have done.
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