Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - LETTERS -

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

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