by Countryside Alliance

The Institute for Logistics Intelligence and Supply Chain Transformation at the University of Northampton has published a new study into the social and economic effects of grouse shooting in English moorland communities.

The study, authored by Prof. Simon Denny and Tracey Latham-Green, found that grouse shooting is part of a complex web of integrated moorland management practices. The study makes clear that it is the activities associated with grouse shooting that underpins those positive economic and social benefits brought to local upland communities, and the wider UK, by integrated moorland management.

It suggests that any policy that seeks to affect any part of this web should carefully consider what its impacts would be on a wide range of economic and social factors, at the start of the policy formation process. Failure to adhere to this approach would risk causing unintended but irreversible social and economic catastrophe to our upland communities. 

  • The direct economic value of grouse shooting in England and Wales is estimated to be £67.7 million per annum.
  • 76% of estate owners surveyed stressed the importance they attributed to carbon sequestration and peat restoration.

The study also found that moorland communities exhibit deep-rooted and supportive social networks as a result of the employment opportunities and community projects facilitated by grouse moors. Maintaining moors for grouse shooting also helped bring about distinct health benefits for moorland communities, including more time spent exercising outdoors and a diminished sense of loneliness which has been shown to significantly impact physical health. 

Furthermore, the study found that communities in areas where integrated moorland management, including grouse shooting, is practiced have a more diverse economy, and are less reliant on tourism than comparable upland areas where land management practices do not include grouse shooting.

  • 37% of moorland residents said they were 'not worried at all' about losing their jobs as a result of coronavirus, compared to 15% nationally.
  • In the Lake District - the only uplands area where grouse shooting is not practiced at all - 22% of residents were found to work in accommodation and food services, the highest figure of all five national parks in the uplands of Northern England.

The study also found that people who participate in shooting do so because they feel a strong, rural identity and connection to the countryside.

The report can be found here

 

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