November 24 2014 Latest news:
West Suffolk reporter
Friday, August 15, 2014
A couple have complained to an environmental education charity over a bushcraft course which teaches children how to set traps and snares, fearing the youngsters may test their new skills on neighbours’ cats and garden wildlife.
Paula and Barry Harber, from Lawshall, near Bury St Edmunds, voiced their concerns to the Green Light Trust over a Primitive Hunting Day for seven to 13-year-olds where they can learn bushcraft skills including setting snares and deadfall traps.
Mrs Harber, 50, has written to this newspaper about the course and hopes other readers will contribute to the debate.
She wrote: “As people concerned with protecting wildlife, my husband and I voiced our concerns to the trust about such a controversial course, worried that, having learnt some of these so called ‘skills’, some children might practice them on the neighbours cats and other wildlife in their own garden.”
Mr Harber, who used to shoot pheasants, said: “It just seems a strange subject to teach young children who might want to try out stuff themselves in the garden.”
But Ashley Seaborne, chief executive of the Green Light Trust, which is based at Lawshall, said the purpose of the course is to educate children about how people used to survive, and still do survive in remote areas.
“It’s more of an educational experience,” he said. “We are doing it responsibly in that they are being told very clearly the responsibility they have with the information we are sharing with them and it’s for the purpose of survival rather than any destructive or irresponsible behaviour.”
He added: “We cannot be held responsible for what everybody does after or with the knowledge they have been given.”
He said the Green Light Trust had been running the bushcraft courses for two-and-a-half years, adding “the children absolutely love it”.
“From our point of view it’s about actually letting children experience real life under controlled circumstances with an experienced tracker,” he said.
He said no live animals were used for the trap demonstrations.
He added they work primarily with local children on the courses, and their parents understand what the trust is trying to do.
The Primitive Hunting Day, which is taking place in a remote area, is on August 28.
For more information about the Green Light Trust visit www.greenlighttrust.org
•What do you think? Should children be taught snaring and trapping skills? Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org