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Moorland Association welcomes Defra recognition of grouse shooting’s vital role in conservation of rural areas

18th February 2019

The Moorland Association today welcomed the Government’s support for the important role shooting plays in the conservation of ecologically important habitats. The Government statement was in response to a private petition calling for an independent economic study into the economic benefits of driven grouse shooting. The petition and Defra’s response can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/226109

Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association said: “The Moorland Association is pleased to see the Government recognise the broad range of environmental and economic benefits that moorland managed for grouse shooting delivers and reaffirm the mutually beneficial relationship between grouse shooting and conservation.

As custodians of over a million acres of upland England open to all to enjoy, Moorland Association members are at the forefront of landscape-scale conservation work. A key environmental priority for both the Government and the Moorland Association is the restoration of precious peatland habitats.

We are working with Natural England and leading conservation organisations including Moors for the Future and the Yorkshire Peat Partnership on a range of measures to improve the condition of blanket bog, with at least 42,000 hectares currently under active restoration.

Other notable benefits that stem from responsible and modern grouse moor management include flood and wildfire mitigation, carbon storage and sequestration, clean water provision and biodiversity gains that buck national trends.

As the Defra response clearly shows, grouse shooting produces important economic benefits, including private investment of over £1m a week on conservation in England and in excess of £15 million injected directly into rural areas during the shooting season. The sector supports 1,520 full time jobs and also provides 42,500 additional work days a year in remote rural communities across the north of England.”

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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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