SIR – Ian Botham (Comment, November 13) highlights the foolishness of relying on bodies such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to look after the countryside and its creatures.

Society has become disconnected from rural life. Gamekeepers have been vilified, yet it is their local knowledge and experience that can save lives. In my own part of Hertfordshire, the deer population is out of control, with herds way in excess of 100. The trail of dead deer along the highway is a tragedy, but there is also the horror of drivers who have been killed or injured.

As more people are encouraged to live in the countryside, we reduce the area for animals to roam. In stopping organised shooting, we take away the crucial role of the gamekeeper, who was adept at managing numbers of deer and foxes, as well as knowing how to stop the hare coursers.

Catherine Lewis
Ware, Herfordshire