The National Trust has explained the reasoning behind its decision not to renew the licence of a Surrey shooting syndicate ? and says it has nothing to do with a nationwide anti-shooting policy.

In a statement to Shooting Times, the Trust said it notified the syndicate on the Polesden Lacey estate that their licence would not be renewed after it ends in February, ?due to the increased use of the estate by walkers, horse riders and cyclists.?

Andrea Selley, Polesden Lacey general manager said: ?While the shoot has always operated following a strict code of conduct and safety guidelines, we have known for some years that the increasing use of the estate by the public would one day mean the shoot would have to end, because of the disturbance that shooting can cause. We feel that time has now come.?

Visitor numbers to Polesden Lacey?s gardens have grown from 100,000 per year when the licence was first issued in 1977, to around 260,000 today. The Trust said that these figures indicate the estate?s increased use and popularity, and its incompatibility with shooting.

The rest of this article appears in the 12th October issue of Shooting Times.

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