In response to last week’s letter from Claire Matters (‘Landowners and keepers must speak out’), all of the relevant countryside associations have spoken out very strongly against the illegal killing of birds of prey, and the vast majority of landowners endorse that sentiment whole-heartedly. Red kites are prolific in the area because local landowners, the Earl and Countess of Harewood, released several pairs in the 1980s: you never saw any in this area before that.
If you want to see red kites, buzzards and other birds of prey you need travel no further than Ripley, where they are regular visitors to the castle park and surrounding fields and woods. Please don’t tar us all with the same brush: illegal and idiotic actions undertaken by one or two people should not be taken as evidence that their activities are condoned by the vast majority of those of us who are fortunate to live and work in the beautiful Nidderdale countryside.The sooner these people are caught, the better.
Sir Thomas Ingilby