YOUR article (13 March), based on an anonymous letter, suggested there was something wrong with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ (RSPB’s) Scottish Bird Fair taking place at Hopetoun House because of a connection between Hopetoun and Leadhills estates.
I object strongly to this misleading impression being given when my condemnation of wildlife crime is unequivocal, as was also stated by the RSPB.
Hopetoun House is owned not by me but by a charitable trust, the Hopetoun House Preservation Trust, which has longstanding close links with RSPB and runs several events in tandem with them each year, including the Hopetoun Big Garden Bird Watch and guided walks.
Leadhills Estate is not “also known as the Hopetoun Estate” – Hopetoun Estate is the land owned by the family near Hopetoun House. I must underline the view of the RSPB spokesman in stating that there is a long-term sporting lease in place at Leadhills and that Hopetoun does not have any responsibility for the shooting there.
I look forward to the RSPB’s 2012 Scottish Bird Fair and I hope it is a great success.
Earl of Hopetoun