Conservation at Work

Blog & News


4th June 2024

The Value of Shooting report, commissioned by 24 rural organisations including the Moorland Association, is published today.

The findings of the report include::

  • Shooting is worth £3.3bn (GVA) to the UK economy every year.
  • The new report has taken a more comprehensive and detailed approach than previous reports, attaching a value to contribution in kind (CiK) and supply chain value, which shows that £9.3bn of wider economic activity is generated for the UK economy.
  • 620,000 individuals are actively involved in shooting-related activities.
  • Shooting providers and volunteers carry out £500m worth of conservation work, equivalent to 26,000 full-time jobs and 14m workdays each year.
  • Habitat management and conservation are carried out on 7.6m hectares as a result of shooting.
  • Three out of four people who take part in shooting said that it is important to them and their wellbeing, with most claiming shooting contributes positively to their physical and mental health.
  • Shooters spend £4.4bn on the UK-based supply chain each year.
  • Shooting supports 172,700 FTE jobs in the UK.

Andrew Gilruth, chief executive of the Moorland Association, said: “Managing moorland for grouse shooting is vitally important to remote rural communities in terms of its economic, environmental and social benefits. A good grouse season is a lifeline for many local businesses in the uplands. This economic contribution goes hand in hand with year-round conservation work, protecting the beautiful heather moors of the uplands and their thriving wildlife.”

With 8,278 shoot days and 439,000 active participants in England, the contribution of shooting to the economy of rural areas is significant. Shooting supports 152,200 FTE jobs in England. Pubs, hotels and restaurants benefit from the tourism generated by the shooting season, while shops, caterers, game dealers and other suppliers all benefit from grouse shooting.

Gamekeeper Bernard Moss is the sporting manager for shooting estates in North Yorkshire covering 28,000 acres, including Farndale and Bransdale.

Annually, the estates arrange a variety of shoot days, from driven and walked-up shooting, including grouse shooting, falconry days and dog training events,. This provides significant local employment.

Bernard Moss says: “On a grouse day, we have an average of eight participants, each paying in the region of £3,000 a day. A grouse day employs around 35 people from the local community.

“We also run two shoot lodges where the participants can stay overnight; these also require staff, including a full-time chef. Overall the estates employ 18 people directly.

“All this adds up to around 4,500 work days a year on the shoots, plus hundreds more in hospitality. “

Moorland owners and gamekeepers in the uplands of England carry out vital conservation work on around 860,000 acres of precious heather moorland, much of which is designated as either a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or a Special Protection Area (SPA) for the rare species that thrive in these high-quality habitats.

Moorland birds such as the curlew and lapwing are four times as likely to fledge their chicks successfully on a grouse moor as they are on other landholdings without gamekeepers. The moors of England are also a major carbon store.


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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