THERE is not space in these pages to answer the charges of both your anti-hunting correspondents in their January 18 letters so I will concentrate on Ms Bradley's letter as it was the more personal and condescending.

She is right about one thing: I should get out more. But what with the foot and mouth and the frost, those things that I enjoy and she disapproves of have been rather curtailed. Now, however, I shall be able to go racing and point-to-pointing (both of which owe a great deal to hunting) more often.

Whether or not I shall be meeting people of whom Ms Bradley would approve is probably debatable. However, she must choose her friends and I must choose mine. As for her advice on books, that is quite superfluous. At the moment I am reading "Beningfield's Vanishing Songbirds" by the widow of Gordon Beningfield, founder of the Countryside Restoration Trust.

He, Ms. Bradley, will be sad to learn, though that country sports were important for conservation and rural culture and was as keen to protect them as he was to protect wild birds.

As Ms Bradley brought the subject up, literature seems rather on the side of hunting. A quick look around my shelves suggests that Churchill, Shakespeare, Trollope, Sassoon, Somerville and Ross, Nancy Mitford, Evelyn and Auberon Waugh, and Sir John Mortimer were or are in favour.

On the subject of scent, RWF Poole says that there are three categories: Pad scent, body scent and breath scent. The scent glands are at the root of the fox's brush. Perhaps Ms. Bradley should borrow one of Mr. Poole's books from the library he is a real expert and she might be converted.

William Thom


Princes Risborough