The row about whether there should be a cull of badgers highlights the sharp divisions in the way the countryside is perceived.
To the farmers of Shropshire and Mid Wales, it is a place of work and fertile soil which grows food, and is the domain of livestock which provide milk and meat.
Then there is that other constituency for whom the countryside is a pleasant playground, a place to admire, and a place to make excursions to from the busy towns.
Two different perspectives, each with their own validity. And it is because of these differing shades of understanding and knowledge that the issue of badger culling stirs emotions.
The part played by badgers in causing TB in cattle is disputed, as is the likely effectiveness of culling. Nobody wants to kill badgers for no reason.
They are much loved creatures and favourite characters in children’s books, although in reality there will be many people from towns who have never actually seen one.
For the farmers, it is not a matter of sentiment, but of their livelihoods. They blame the badgers for the TB and the contentious science which supports that merely confirms what the farmers already believe.
The Government proposals for two pilot culls are a reasonable attempt to reconcile the competing arguments.
They give an opportunity to establish a framework of hard, in-the-field evidence from which to establish the future direction of policy.
The trial culls are bad news for badgers and will outrage the badger-loving lobby.
But for all its seductiveness, the countryside is a battleground in which a bloody fight for survival is played out every day, nature’s way.
All is a balance, and the welfare of badgers has to be weighed against the suffering of cows infected with TB and the obligation to support the farmers who feed us all.