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Thursday, August 6, 1998 Published at 16:24 GMT 17:24 UK


Prince Philip attacks 'townies'

Prince Philip: "No conflict of interest between shooting and conservation"

The Duke of Edinburgh has attacked those he calls ignorant 'townspeople' who he says must be converted to the ways of the countryside.

His article is written to mark the 90th anniversary of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation.

The society, formerly known as the Wildfowlers' Association of Great Britain and Ireland, has 120,000 members who have an interest in shooting, and represents game keepers across the country.

Beliefs due to 'ignorance'

Prince Philip has been patron of the association for 30 years and writes in the current issue of its magazine 'Shooting and Conservation'.

[ image: The Countryside march:
The Countryside march: "A dramatic expression"
He writes: "The recent Countryside March was a dramatic expression of the anxiety of country people about the growing influence of the perceptions and attitudes of townspeople on popular opinion.

"In many cases there are deeply held beliefs, but I suspect that in most cases it is due to ignorance."

Prince Philip states that the association must convert this ignorance into knowledge and comprehension in the coming years.

The future of the environment is also discussed in the article.

'Think about the future'

Prince Philip writes: "Any observant countryman knows perfectly well that there is no inexhaustible supply of game and to keep it going you need to think about the future.

[ image: Urban beliefs due to ignorance]
Urban beliefs due to ignorance
"The lesson that it is not possible to exploit wild populations beyond their capacity to reproduce was learnt many thousands of years ago.

"From the conservation of a particular species to the conservation of the natural environment as a whole is but a small step.

"There is, therefore, no conflict of interest between shooting and conservation."

Birds such as the hen harrier prefer to reside on keepered moorland than unkeepered areas, he writes.

The article says: " Any observer driving through the countryside will notice that wildlife is much more plentiful on keepered estates."

Prince Philip goes on to criticise the use of chemicals on the environment.

He writes: "(I added) that pesitcides, insecticides, poisons and pollution had destroyed more wildlife than man had ever taken and that by affecting the capacity to breed and by destructive interference with the food chain, whole populations and species were being exterminated."

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