RECENT media reports concerning a pheasant shoot taking place within earshot of a school in Norfolk have brought into sharp focus the important, but sometimes difficult, balance that needs to be struck between valuable countryside activities and the careful consideration of other land users and visitors.

Game shooting in this country is one of Britain's fastest growing sports.

It brings significant conservation and economic benefits, as well as biodiversity improvements which are recognised the world over.

As with all field sports, public understanding and sympathy is achieved as a result of their being conducted to the highest possible standards and in an open and accountable manner.

This means careful explanation of th techniques and practises and if necessary, transparent and independent scrutiny.

An increasing number of shooting enthusiasts have willingly signed up to the Code of Good Shooting Practice, a comprehensive guide which has the support of all the major land use and field sports organisations in the UK.

The UK landscape is a delicate environment cared for with attention and sympathy by a range of different interests. The connection between a landscape rich in wildlife and biodiversity, and field sports activity is no coincidence.

Simon Hart CEO, Countryside Alliance London