There’s a fascinating entry on Jon Snow’s blog today (he of Channel 4 News fame) where he describes a visit to a pheasant and partridge shooting estate in west Berkshire. According to the gamekeeper, James, the estate’s policy is ‘to shoot nothing beyond the reared pheasants and patridges‘.
Snow writes, ‘No rabbit, hare, squirrel, pigeon or rat is ever shot. For as James explained: “You violate the food chain at nature’s peril”. Break the food chain and a whole species can disappear. Rabbits, stoats and weasels need to be left for hawks to kill and red kites to eat. Indeed some of the reared pheasants augment the food chain’.
Blimey! Is this estate for real? It’s hard to believe but it’d be pretty exceptional if it was.
Snow, though, understands that this estate’s policy is certainly not the norm. He says that on 8th and 9th May, Channel 4 News will be devoting ‘a serious portion of the programme to the rapid decline of the UK countryside and wildlife’, including a report by ’40 prominent scientists’ that documents this. Should be interesting.
Jon Snow’s blog here