SFH_240112_146Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Sir Barney White-Spunner writes: Some readers will have seen that last weekend I was in various newspapers talking about my vision for the Countryside Alliance and British countryside in general. You can read the articles in full by clicking the links at the bottom of this piece, but I wanted to share a couple of the key points that I made in the interview.

The first is my intention for the Alliance to portray country sports as part of the whole of rural life. Hunting, shooting and fishing are big employers. They are a big focus for social community activity. They are how a lot of people living in the countryside want to spend their recreation. They are, and I want them to be seen as, indivisible from those wider issues of rural businesses and rural communities. If we are to ensure the long-term sustainability of the rural economy; politicians, the media and wider public should embrace country sports as a key part of rural Britain.

Following on from that point, we have to think and work more to secure country sports for future generations. In an age when an awful lot of children spend their time in their bedroom on a laptop, I would love to see more children and young people getting out hunting, shooting and fishing if they can, and the Countryside Alliance is committed to supporting this. Whether through our stewardship of National Shooting Week at the beginning of June, National Hunting Week later in the year or our celebrated Fishing for Schools scheme, which will shortly be honoured at Parliament, we are working to get young people involved in our traditional rural pastimes.

Finally I want to say again that it is you – the people who live and work in rural Britain – who make our countryside what it is. And it is you that the Countryside Alliance is really for.

Read the articles from last weekend here:

Western Morning News 

Independent on Sunday