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Moorland Association statement on Government response to shooting petition

17th November 2017

Following the publication of the UK Government’s response to a petition calling for an end to driven grouse shooting, the Moorland Association has issued this statement.

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said: “The shooting community understands that shooting activities evoke strong opinions. This latest petition which urges an end to driven grouse shooting does not recognise the very substantial social, environmental and economic contribution that results from moorland management. We are pleased that the government does acknowledge this contribution in its balanced response to the petition.

“The government has highlighted the important habitat conservation work that is carried out on grouse moors and the shooting community remains wholly committed to playing its part through such schemes as the Blanket Bog Restoration Strategy in which we play an integral role.

We agree with the government statement that healthy, active peat provides good habitat for grouse as well as numerous environmental benefits and ecosystem services. Our members are at the forefront of implementing the voluntary land management agreements which will deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for land owners and the environment.

“As regards wildlife crime, the law should be respected. We note that the government has recognised that in some cases the populations of some birds of prey are increasing and this is against a backdrop of decreasing wildlife crime incidents. This does not affect in any way our commitment to restore endangered species and the Moorland Association is one of a number of very enthusiastic partners of the Hen Harrier Action Plan announced in January 2016.

“We believe that to make progress, all stakeholders, including the RSPB, should work as closely as possible to find collaborative, practical solutions within the law to ensure a balance of all species.”

The Government’s response can be found here 

Natural England’s Blanket Bog Restoration Strategy can be found here 

Blanket Bog Land Management Guidance can be found here

More information on the Hen Harrier Action Plan can be found here  

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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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