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7th October 2019

The Moorland Association said today that the final report of the Langholm Moor Demonstration Project (LMDP) published today has highlighted the multiple environmental and conservation benefits provided by grouse moor management.

The full LMDP report can be read here

The Langholm Moor Demonstration Project was a partnership of Buccleuch, Scottish Natural Heritage, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, RSPB and Natural England.

Responding to the report, Amanda Anderson, Director of the Moorland Association, said: “The Langholm Project was undertaken over 10 years and has now provided conclusive scientific evidence of many benefits as a consequence of grouse moor management.

“The report states clearly that management for red grouse can recover and support priority moorland habitat and species. A number of species all improved while keepering was in place during the project. Curlew numbers rose by 10% per year, golden plover up by 16% per year, snipe increased by 21%. IN addition, 60 years of heather loss was halted and over 600 hectares were restored.

“These are important conservation successes at a time when there is intense debate over the future of the uplands, land management post-Brexit and indeed the loss of nature from across the UK.

“The report details the importance of legal predator management and points to a combination of predators including foxes, crows, ravens, buzzards and hen harriers that have an impact on chicks of ground nesting birds. The report states, habitat restoration alone will not deliver viable red grouse populations and ‘new legal predation management options, beyond diversionary feeding, may be needed’.

“The hen harrier brood management trial and diversionary feeding on moors in England are two predator management initiatives the Moorland Association is involved in that may help towards resolving the conflicts between birds of prey and red grouse and waders and the early signs have been encouraging. This year saw the best English hen harrier breeding results since 2006.

“There are many lessons to be learned from Langholm and key among them is that continued private investment in grouse moor management provides a motivation for conservation action with wider environmental as well as socio-economic benefits.”


Did You Know?

75% of Europe’s remaining upland heather moorland is found in the UK – 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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