Promoting shooting’s benefits is one of the Countryside Alliance’s main objectives. Facts on conservation, for example the nesting successes of the IUCN red-listed lapwings and curlews are three times higher on an upland moor managed for grouse shooting than unmanaged, and facts on the economy, for example, the overall worth of shooting to the UK is an estimated at over £2 billion, are paramount to our side of the debate. These essential and scientific facts help us inform the public on shooting’s benefits and, importantly, help make decisions within Parliament and the devolved administrations.
As important as scientific research is, first hand evidence can be just as significant. This is why the Alliance spends enormous amounts of time and effort every year getting MPs, journalists and chefs out into the countryside and up onto moors to see for themselves the benefits of land managed by gamekeepers.
Now it seems that the moors and well-managed land is coming to us through the medium of social media. Social media, although a cultural shift away from the norm for many, is an incredibly powerful tool, especially to the young of today and leaders of the future.
There are currently 10 Moorland Groups circulating social media, encompassing large areas across the UK, from the Peak District to the Angus Glens. They are run by the gamekeepers, land managers and those on the ground, providing information directly to the masses on what the scientific evidence has been proving for decades.
This past week has seen pictures and videos of fledging ring ouzels, lapwings and red grouse, whilst allowing the public to understand a little more about a gamekeeper’s working life. The past month has also seen the Moorland Groups publicising the issues with upland wildfires, showcasing the need for a well-controlled in-season burning regime. The case was made particularly well at Howden Moor in the Peak District where the firefighters did not have the machinery to get to the wildfire and the gamekeepers stayed out on the moor all night to keep the fire under control and stop it from spreading.
This opportunity to see first-hand evidence of the work being done in the uplands is vital to the debate, and the Alliance is an avid supporter of the Moorland Groups and all the work that they do. We applaud their efforts, and even at the busiest time of year for the gamekeepers they are still taking time out to post on social media, which is to the benefit of everyone who enjoys shooting.
To follow the Moorland Groups on Facebook follow the links below: