5 MAY 1939, Page 19

Close Seasons More than one appeal has been made in

this page for a closer close season for many birds. A beginning was registered recently by the passing of the Bill for the protection of geese and duck ; and the Home Secretary has raised hopes by pro- mising a more general review of the question. My view, for what it is worth, is that the First of September, historic though the date is, should give way to September t4th as the first day on which partridges may be shot, and that the date should be anticipated by a week or ten days at the other end. How very often the partridges pair in or about the last week of January. With regard to snipe and woodcock, there is nothing whatever in the nesting or pairing habits of these two species to justify the shooting of them in a spring month. Woodcock, though of course the majority are immigrants, show a tendency to nest in larger quantity and over wider areas in this country, and the more security they are given the better for all. This plea for the birds may be associated with a plea for the mammals.

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