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Not encouraging children to hunt;Letter

YOUR article "Now let's play hunt the teacher" (TES, March 12) did a disservice to the Countryside Alliance and to teachers.

The Countryside Alliance appointed me as education co-ordinator to explain to children the complexities of the countryside and country sports. The post was not created to encourage children to take up hunting or other country sports. Hunting is a popular issue for discussion and I receive approximately 100 requests a month from teachers, pupils and students for information on that issue alone.

It is not my opinion or that of the alliance that teachers are "blinkered" or "opinionated". Those were the views of the editor of the Countryman's Weekly. As someone who has assisted teachers at primary level and taught in my own right, I appreciate the efforts that are made to ensure that both sides in controversial debates such as fox hunting receive a fair hearing, as required by teaching guidelines.

As an organisation promoting country life and country sports, it is our responsibility to provide professional, targeted information to schools that addresses the specific needs of pupils at each level. I am working on a new information pack designed for teenagers that will be ready for the new school year. My telephone number is 0171 582 5432.

Mary Earnes

Education co-ordinator Countryside Alliance

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