New polling carried out by ORB for the Countryside Alliance in advance of a parliamentary debate on Monday 31st October shows that grouse shooting and grouse moor management do not even register as a spontaneous issue  of public interest, and that compared to a range of other issues people rank grouse shooting as the least important.

ORB, asked 2046 people what were the most important issues facing the country and not a single person spontaneously mentioned grouse shooting, grouse moors, or anything to do with grouse (the sample was representative of the UK electorate). ORB then asked the same 2046 people whether there were any other issues that were important to them, and still not a single person spontaneously mentioned grouse shooting, grouse moors, or anything to do with grouse. In all there were more than 5,000 individual issues raised that people thought were important to the country, or to them personally and grouse were not mentioned once.

ORB then went on to ask whether people considered a list of issues were either important or unimportant. Grouse shooting was the issue the least number of people thought was important with over three quarters (77%) of respondents considering it not important. The development of wind farms was deemed unimportant by only 37%, building on the greenbelt was deemed unimportant by 36% and mobile connectivity deemed unimportant by 28%.

Countryside Alliance Head of Shooting Liam Stokes said:

“These polling results confirm what we already knew. The 120,000 signature petition that has led to today’s debate calling for the banning of driven grouse shooting is no way reflective of broader public interest. It is instead the result of manufactured support that has relied heavily upon the endorsements of a few notable celebrity endorsements.

“Grouse shooting is of enormous importance to the upland communities who rely on its economic benefits, and to the wildlife it helps conserve, but the rest of the country think the issue is of no importance at all. There is a small, noisy group who are trying to make these upland communities feel like the world is against them, when the reality is the vast majority of the electorate in this country take no interest in this issue at all. Politicians need to realise that the divisive rhetoric being used to campaign against grouse shooting is deeply unhelpful and not rooted in public support, and should back the efforts of conservationists and landowners to work together to secure the future of our upland economies, communities and ecosystems.”

The research carried out by ORB for the Countryside Alliance, is based on interviews with 2046 people carried out from 21-23rd October: http://www.orb-international.com/