by Adrian Blackmore

Driven Grouse Shooting is a topic that will always inspire debate, and all too often it is debate that is driven more by emotion than facts or science. A new report into the sustainability of driven grouse shooting, published today by the University of Northampton, has taken the environmental, social and economic dimensions at the core of mainstream sustainability identified by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and considers each one in detail. This is incredibly important as anyone making decisions about the use of moors on which driven grouse shooting takes place needs to ensure that any change is at least as beneficial to all three dimensions as the status quo.

Studying all available evidence, the authors of the report completely reject the allegations that grouse shooting is bad for people and the environment, and that it is economically insignificant. Indeed, the report finds that: no alternative uses have been put forward for managing grouse moors that would deliver the same positive economic impact to some of the most remote parts of the UK; and there is no evidence that the alternative uses for moorland that are commonly proposed will increase natural capital, or add value to the ecosystems services currently provided. If people – both the public and governments – continue to value heather moorland landscapes, then they will need to be maintained. The current model of integrated moorland management is a sustainable approach to maintaining this unique habitat, and there is no evidence that other management regimes can deliver the same result. 

In calling for a ban of driven grouse shooting, groups like Wild Justice are demonstrating either willful blindness, or a remarkable degree of ignorance, totally disregarding the impact such a fundamental change in land use would have both on biodiversity in our uplands, and the livelihoods of many. The full report can be read here.

Posted in

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more on how we use cookies and how you can change your settings by reading our Cookie Policy