Comments on Countryside Alliance ‘misguided’

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From: Simon Hamlyn, Northern Regional Director, Countryside Alliance.

I WRITE in response to the letter from Mr Chris Gale from Chippenham (Yorkshire Post, January 9). Mr Gale is not only misguided in his comments, inaccurate in his sentiments, and as well is deliberately blinkered in particular to the wide ranging and very much valued work that the Countryside Alliance undertakes in rural communities – our work on rural broadband, Post Office closures, affordable housing, fly tipping, reductions in bus routes, fuel poverty and many other issues that are important to those who live in rural Yorkshire.

There is also the our charity, the Countryside Alliance Foundation to consider, whose work includes helping the public understand more about the countryside and helping to protect the natural environment. By introducing adults and children alike to the dramatic realities of rural life, the CA Foundation hopes to inspire them to find out more and become passionate enough to share our aims and values.

This is achieved through a range of education resources, community projects and research initiatives, to introduce people to the importance and diversity of the countryside and the CA Foundation has spent the past two years developing a number of concepts that achieve these ends.

Our Fishing for Schools programme is an excellent example of one of the many ways we are reaching out to teach young people the skills of fly fishing and offer them a gateway into the natural world.

Hunting with hounds is one of the important aspects of our work in promoting field sports along with both fishing and shooting – the latter two when combined are worth approaching £250m to the economy of the county. Shooting in the county for example supports 4,400 full-time equivalent jobs.

Instead of being “shocked” Mr Gale should be delighted that the Countryside Alliance, has joined Welcome to Yorkshire.