Letter: Bring back the trees

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The Independent Online
Sir: The claim from Lesley Ferguson (letter, 15 August) on behalf of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation that more bird species live on heather moors than on bracken-covered moors is probably correct.

However, on the grouse moors in north-west Durham the choice should not be seen as heather or bracken but heather or a re-creation of the original forest, which was mixed woodland with much smaller areas of heather moor. Names such as Lune Forest, Hawkwood Head and the hamlet of Forest in Teesdale (now surrounded by treeless grouse moors) tell you what the area was like before it was enclosed.

As mixed woodland is generally acknowledged to be the most species-rich habitat it is up to any conservationist to advocate this as the future for our uplands.

Despite all the claims and counterclaims the argument on shooting is essentially a moral one: whether it is right or wrong to kill living creatures for fun.

DAVE SHEPHERDSON

Newcastle Green Party

Newcastle upon Tyne

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