Animal right activists may oppose pheasant shooting on a farm run by Reading University (League Against Cruel Sports urges University of Reading to ban pheasant shoot, Sep 19) but perhaps they might pause to consider the rights of farmland birds.
On our farm in Leicestershire, we demonstrated that a well-run shoot can increase the abundance and breeding density of several bird species including blackbird, song thrush, dunnock, whitethroat, chaffinch and yellowhammer. When we looked at 34 farms nearby, we found that those with shoots had 30% more farmland birds. As the State of Nature report makes clear we need to do more, rather than less, to help our wildlife thrive again.
Director of communications GWCT