This is a thought provoking and contemporary article – here’s a flavour. Once you have read it have a look at the next article which shows how fast politicians can sometimes move on countryside issues!!

The fallout has been considerable. Forget the haves and the have-nots, Brexiters and remainers, north v south: some people are determined to make our disunited nation’s ultimate binary division the one between town and country. 

According to the popular caricature, one camp lives in concrete and glass towers, imbibes polluted air and superciliously treats the countryside as a playground for Disneyfied nature. The other resides in leafy lanes, brandishes shotguns and is increasingly besieged and undermined by city dwellers’ laws.

These two tribes, we are told, have clashed over foxhunting – a unique tradition or a barbaric relic according to taste. They’ve battled over badger culling – a vital disease control measure to protect cattle farmers or an unscientific muddle that’s cruel and pointless. And they’ve gone to war over dairy farming – an environmentally friendly and nutritious food production system or a cruel industry that turn animals into machines. 

The row over bird shooting licences is presented as the latest expression of the great divide. Is it a perverse attack on country livelihoods by townies who are happy to see curlews become extinct and lambs’ eyes pecked out because they hate shooting so much? Or is it an overdue, rational move to bring licences into line with wildlife laws and stop people massacring harmless jays and rooks for fun?

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