2 APRIL 1948, Page 14

A Partridge Farm Some years ago a partridge farm was

brought into being—by the LC.I.—to increase the stock of this most interesting bird. Quite apart from its prime object, which presumably was to increase the use of cartridges by increasing the targets, a number of points of much interest to naturalists were brought out. For the first time it was discovered how to persuade the birds to breed in captivity (by a system of natural selection). Recently this most suggestive farm was moved from Hertfordshire to that best of -partridge counties, Hampshire ; and I am inclined to hope and believe that a certain change of heart has come about with the change of site.' At first ingenious methods (some learnt in Hungary) were adopted for the destruction of winged enemies. Now several of the hawk tribe may be destructive of young birds, but it is being recognised that the bigger and rarer birds of prey take so small a -toll that they should not be killed even by the most impenitent game- preserver. For example, it was a rare phenomenon when one of the founders of the partridge farm saw both a hen-harrier and a buzzard in the neighbourhood. Both these glorious hawks are, I think, multiplying, thanks largely to an increasing admiration for the birds themselves, and an increasing perception that the harm they do to game is negligible. Another of the tribe that may be restored to us is the kite, which has suffered in the past from the man with the gun, and more recently from the too eager photographer.