With the ‘Glorious Twelfth’ just days away, it is predictable that anti-shooting campaigners have stepped up their efforts, but they are ignoring sound evidence.
The truth is that managing our uplands for shooting has benefits for conservation, preserves marginal upland communities and puts healthy food into the market.
Grouse shooting is worth an estimated £100million to the economy each year and supports more than 2,500 full-time jobs. It benefits pubs, hotels and other local retail outlets. In the uplands, this can mean the difference in viability for fragile rural communities.
Heather moorland is an internationally important habitat and 75 per cent of it is found in the UK. This habitat is uniquely precious, with 90 per cent of grouse moors located in National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Gamekeepers create outstanding habitat for many rare and endangered birds, such as lapwings, which is why the majority of grouse moors are internationally-protected habitats, rarer than rainforest. Without shooting, they would not exist.
While August 12, is the iconic first day of the season, it is obvious that the benefits of grouse shooting are present all year around.
Chairman The British Association for Shooting and Conservation