Has shooting helped to conserve Ilkley Moor?

From: Jonathan Shires, Holme, Cumbria.

Perhaps Bill Oddie should consider the following before giving an emotional opinion such as “Ilkley Moor has a special place in my heart since performing On Ilkla Moor Bah’t at” (The Yorkshire Post, February 24).

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How long has shooting taken place on the moor? Who has been responsible for conservation on the moor during this period? Has this conservation been detrimental or beneficial to wildlife on the moor?

Surely a process of consultation with the appropriate bodies is more appropriate than calling for an all-out shooting ban? If by any chance the current conservation measures happen to be of benefit to the moor then surely it is a case of don’t try to fix something that is not broken, but by all means look for ways of improving the current methods.

Or could it be another case of a celebrity being brought in to bolster cases for anti-country sports organisations without a great deal of knowledge about the particular situation? I am not particularly pro or anti-shooting and have no interest in Ilkley Moor but I do feel that people in such positions should endeavour to find out about country pursuits before calling for their abolition.