Independent on Sunday, 28 February 2016:
Why on Earth are we still arguing about lead shot? (Hunters retain lead shot despite danger to food Feb 21) In 1983 the Ninth Report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Lead in the Environment, recommended : “Lead shot from spent cartridges and lead fishing weights poison wildlife. We recommend that as soon as substitutes are available, the Government should legislate to ensure their adoption and use” (Para 8.35) The only reason this has not happened is because of the rearguard action fought by groups such as the Countryside Alliance who represent the most extreme reactionary elements in rural society. Thus they are prepared to ignore the toxic effects on wild-life and potential harm to children eating game, just so long as their membership can continue practices that have remained largely unchanged since the 18th century.
Sadly this is true of many such organisations that profess concern for the environment but whose main aim is conservation at all costs. The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, for example, has produced some sensible policy statements on renewable energy, but local CPRE groups ignore national policy in favour the Daily Mail or the Sunday Telegraph, and adopt the same unthinking approach to onshore wind, the cheapest form of renewable energy.
Rather than spoil the view of their well-heeled members, they ignore the effects of climate change which will wreak far more havoc than any number of wind turbines. When your farm land is under 10 feet of water, what price then the view or the land value?
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire