I cannot let the one-sided and self-congratulatory letter about game shooting from the Countryside Alliance spokesman pass without comment (Letters, October 8, ‘Be thankful for the season’).

I do not share his enthusiasm for the start of the shooting season. While the shoot is on I can’t walk in the nearby countryside. I am disturbed by the noise of gunshot. I have even had idiotic youths pointing guns at my house.

Pheasant and partridge are not ‘wild’. They are practically factory-farmed, artificially reared and released into the woods and fields in unnaturally high densities.

I would disagree that wildlife thrives in shooting areas, since predators have to be kept down to keep bird numbers high. In spite of some supplementary feeding large numbers of pheasants are bound to compete with wildlife for food resources. Some wild birds like woodcock and snipe are shot as game, in spite of their numbers being in rapid decline nationally.

As for the health benefits of eating game - it’s full of toxic lead! Scientific studies have shown that minute particles of lead remain in the meat even where the shot is not eaten. Scattered lead shot remains in the environment, where it could be ingested by birds in mistake for grit, or enter the food chain in other ways.

You can enjoy a crisp, winter day in the field without needing to shoot anything that moves.

Eve Templeton