ROUGH AND READY
I read the article about shooting snipe over Jack Russells with a great sense of nostalgia (A wisp of good sport, 21 November).
It reminded me of my early rough shooting forays many years ago; I can still recall every detail of shooting a cock pheasant put up by my mother’s miniature dachshund, a great hunter in spite of her diminutive size. It is among my favourite memories, I enjoyed the piece on the avocet in Bird of the Week (Sporting Answers, 21 November), but you failed to mention the key role of Ltcol J. K. Stanford and his brother Morrant. They found the first three nests in 1947 and set up a round-the-clock guard to protect the breeding birds. There is an excellent account of this exciting time in his book Bledgrave Hall.
I was disappointed when I visited RSPB Minsmere last year not to find any mention of the Stanfords’ contribution to the success of the avocet. Lt-col Stanford combined a love of birds and an enjoyment of shooting in a way that baffles our critics
‘‘The wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who
come after.’’ King George VI
The avocet was given a great boost in the 1940s by Lt-col J. K. Stanford and his brother Brigadier H. m. Stanford