27 JANUARY 2001, Page 29

Brock-loving Bron

From Mr Simon Courtauld Sir: The 1984 article by Auberon Waugh which you republished (`Badgers are beautiful', 20 January) was well chosen. More than 16 years on, and to a continuing chorus of criticism, the Ministry of Agriculture still doesn't know whether badgers are responsible for bovine TB, yet still persists in trapping and killing them.

In that year, 1984, Bron and I had lunch when I became editor of the Field, and found that we agreed on almost everything connected with wildlife and the countryside — pro-badgers and hunting, of course, and anti-bats, salmon-netting and the interfer

ing busybodies of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).

When Lord Rothermere, whose Associated Newspapers should never have been in charge of the Field, dispensed with my services three years later, Bron wrote that I had been sacked for having conducted a wholly admirable campaign against the RSPB. This was one of his enjoyable fantasies, but I was delighted that some readers might think it was true.

Simon Courtauld

Pewsey, Wiltshire