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Grouse moors dig deep despite ‘mixed prospects’ for season

11th August 2017

Grouse moors across North of England will invest at least £1million per week in their businesses and local economies – despite prospects for the shooting season being mixed.

Preparations are being finalised for the start of the shooting season tomorrow, the Glorious 12th of August.

The Moorland Association’s 190 member grouse moors cover over one million acres of moorlands.

Director Amanda Anderson said: “Mother nature ultimately determines whether estates will be harvesting grouse from this weekend or not.  A mixed picture is emerging and whereas some estates will have very good stocks of grouse others will be disappointed. However, regardless of the number of shooting days possible, the all-year-round custodianship remain the same – and that means very hefty investment. If there is any revenue from shooting, it helps to defray those costs.

“We estimate that our members and sporting tenants invest well over £50 million over the course of a year – that’s a million pounds a week all year round. The smallest estate will spend from £70,000 per annum upwards. Businesses that are associated with grouse shooting – such as game dealers, accommodation providers, equipment suppliers, catering establishments, garages and transport operators, also benefit very substantially.”

“Roughly nine pounds out of every ten is privately funded with the last fraction coming from Common Agricultural Policy support and these funds are provided to ensure that that land is kept in good agricultural heart and delivers specific wildlife and landscape benefits for the environment.”

Amanda Anderson added: “In addition to the very significant economic benefit of grouse moor management owners will be taking great pride this season on the very extensive conservation work they are involved in. Without the conservation management of this distinctive habitat, which is privately-funded and supported by driven grouse shooting, there would be no red grouse, curlew, lapwing or golden plover. Grouse shooting has disappeared from the south-western moors and most of Wales and with its management, so too have most of these wonderful birds.

“Moors are also at the heart of preserving Heather moorland which is rarer than rainforest and threatened globally. Almost two-thirds of England’s upland Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) are managed grouse moors and are in the vanguard of peatland restoration.”

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Did You Know?

75% of of the world’s remaining heather moorland is found in Britain – but this area declined alarmingly over the latter part of the last century. The Moorland Association was set up in 1986 to coordinate the efforts of moorland owners and managers to halt this loss, particularly in England and Wales.

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