RE David Crummack’s letter ‘Country ways handed down through centuries’, August 3.

His point isn’t instantly obvious, but I will assume that he is saying, “will everyone leave us alone to kill whatever it is we enjoy killing”.

He gave two examples of birds whose numbers have been decimated, allegedly by foxes and badgers.

The truth, however, is not as simple as some country folk.

In 1999, a study by The British Trust for Ornithology and the RSPB, concluded that farming changes were largely to blame for a decline in lapwing numbers, especially the switch from spring to autumn sowing, which restricts nest sites, and the loss of grassland and increased pesticide use, which limited food availability.

Another survey, by the RSPB, this time of curlew numbers, again put most of the blame on agricultural intensification and moorland however, claim that fox control could also help.

However, before we condone the killing of foxes, or farmers, to protect curlews, we need to know why some people would like to artificially boost curlew numbers. For that, you only need to read a past edition of Wildfowling Magazine International in which a call was made to remove the curlews’ protected status to allow ‘a new generation of fowlers’ to ‘experience the magic of curlew shooting’.

Leave the likes of Mr Crummack to run the countryside – there isn’t a hope in hell of that happening I’m pleased to say.

Tommy Woodward, Pickering