Be grateful for gamekeepers
IT would be remiss of me not to allay the suspicions of Robin Waddell (Letters, December 26) regarding buzzards and their range.
Buzzards have a preference for wooded, hilly country and hence are found in greater numbers in Wales and the west of Scotland. However, as this species has become very much more numerous they have extended their range not towards the bare heather moorland, but to lower-lying grasslands where the supply of food is much more abundant. With regard to kites it is my suggestion that after reintroduction the policy was to continue the practice of feeding them in specific sites and this has artificially encouraged them not to extend their range. I realise this is a tourist attraction but I would question the ethics of utilising kites in this way.
Several independent reports have recently stressed that gamekeepers are without doubt the strongest force for conservation in the UK. It is also worth noting that wildlife crime and especially raptor persecution has been diminishing rapidly over recent years. Our landmass has been artificially managed for at least 5,000 years and we are fortunate to have dedicated countrymen, the gamekeepers, protecting our wonderful wildlife. David Stubley, 22 Templeton Crescent, Prestwick.