n SIR, I was perplexed by what your correspondent Jonathan Ward (Letters, July 4, ‘Consider other people and other creatures’) was trying to get at as he mentioned the Countryside Alliance on a number of occasions. What did he mean when he referred to Alliance members cruising around in their power boats on Windermere ‘demanding to erode the shoreline’?

The Countryside Alliance does not have a position on the Windermere speed limit, nor were we represented at the public inquiry. Is he trying to imply that all our members and supporters are rich? Because they’re not.

Visit any of the modestly-funded Lakeland hunts in the winter, and try to find evidence of excessive wealth. Maybe with his references to erosion, Mr Ward is suggesting that our members are somehow eco-vandals? If so, he’s wrong again. According to recently-published research in the prestigious Nature magazine, shooting and hunting in lowland Britain make a significant contribution to biodiversity at no cost to the public.

Interestingly, many of our members are anglers and would be likely to oppose unnecessary waterside erosion. Mr Ward claims that we do not represent him or anyone he knows. Fair enough, but we have around 100,000 individual members, and with the organisations which are affiliated to us, represent some 500,000 people.

The Countryside Alliance will continue to fight relentlessly for country sports and the rural way of life, as we have done throughout our existence.

Tom Fell Regional Director Countryside Alliance