In 2017, Roseanna Cunningham, the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, commissioned an independent group to look at the environmental impact of grouse moor management. A licensing scheme for grouse moor shooting will be introduced in Scotland as part of efforts to stop the illegal killing of birds of prey, rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon has announced. Scotland’s Grouse Moors: Background. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Scottish Countryside Alliance, Scottish Gamekeepers' Association, Scottish Association for Country Sports and Scottish Land & Estates issued a joint statement in response to the announcement. The minister cited a 2017 report by public agency NatureScot that found a third of satellite-tagged golden eagles in Scotland had disappeared in suspicious circumstances on or near grouse moors. The report made 58 recommendations but the most controversial was the suggestion of licensing for shooting estates. When Scotland’s grouse are mentioned, the red grouse is the species that springs most readily to mind. 2. In 2009 the estimate was 304 actively managed grouse moors. GROUSE shooting businesses in Scotland will be subject to a new licensing scheme under proposals to tackle the illegal killing of birds of prey. This summer Scottish Parliament voted to fully protect the mountain hare and end all management of the native species, unless under licence from Nature Scot. October 12, 2018 by . Required fields are marked *. A fifth of upland Scotland is used for driven grouse shooting, with the land being managed to maximise the number of red grouse available for shooting. THE AREA OF GROUSE MOOR IN SCOTLAND. Alongside this review, the Scottish Government commissioned research into the costs and benefits of large shooting estates to Scotland’s economy and biodiversity2. The area of grouse moor has never been measured accurately because “grouse moor” or land used for grouse shooting is very difficult to define or quantify. The many harriers raised in Scotland that spend their winters in England visit grouse moors or lowland game‐rearing areas (Wernham et al. “Research by the University of Strathclyde estimated that there were 485 active grouse moors in Scotland in 1991 covering 1.86 million hectares. VideoThe adventures of Elon Musk, world's richest person, The Sierra Leonean airman shot down over Nazi Germany, France's vaccine drive has challenging start. The socio-economics of a selection of alternative land management models is also considered. When they do become available, seldom are they capable of producing sustainable quantities of grouse. This requires refinement and checking against current activity but should be a reasonably accurate way to measure. An estimate of 10% of Scotland’s land area now being used for some form of grouse shooting is reasonable, around half of what is being alleged in the Revive report. In a move long-feared by the game sector – and enthusiastically touted by conservationists – grouse moors will now need to comply with strict rules or risk having their licence to operate removed. The Scottish government said it would bring forward legislation in the next parliamentary term. "Their own research concluded just how important driven grouse shooting is to our rural economy and communities both in terms of jobs and income so this makes no sense whatsoever," Ms Smith said. However, this is supported by millions of pounds in subsidies. Grouse were “effectively farmed to be shot for entertainment,” said Revive’s campaign manager, Max Wiszniewski. Thousands of animals are killed in Scotland each year as part of a circle of destruction that surrounds driven grouse moors. That a Code of Practice on the management of Mountain Hares, including legally enforceable reporting requirements, should be developed. This reinforces what we know about loss of heather – over 40% loss of this habitat since the Second World War. Two of the birds were tagged on the National Trust for Scotland’s Mar Lodge Estate in Aberdeenshire this summer. Scottish Labour welcomed the plans for a licensing system, saying it was "long overdue". Grouse moors are typically found on hills on which heather grows well on the drier flanks but less well on the blanket peat and wetter summits. But the Scottish Wildlife Trust welcomed the announcement. Conservationists say it would mean land managers are much more likely to take the issue seriously. Scotland’s Grouse Moors: Background. Scotland’s gamekeepers are calling for surplus mountain hares from grouse moors to be translocated to other parts of the country to reverse the hares’ unfavourable conservation status. Scotland's vital peat reserves are under constant threat from the damage caused by increasingly intensive muir burning on Scotland's grouse moors adding to the risk of climate chaos. The map shows that much of the most intensive grouse moor management in Scotland occurs in the Cairngorms National Park. He said: "Ironically, those who lobbied so hard for licensing have no interest in seeing it being a success. The change would mean the estates would have to respond to claims about raptor persecution or risk losing their licence. Unlicensed culling of mountain hares is also being made illegal. This summer Scottish Parliament voted to fully protect the mountain hare and end all management of the native species, unless under licence from Nature Scot. Scotland has four grouse species – red, black, ptarmigan and capercaillie. Organisations representing the game sector have raised concerns that grouse moors have not been economically assessed and the changes could deliver a damaging blow to rural Scotland. Revive, the coalition for grouse moor reform has welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle the circle of destruction surrounding grouse moors in Scotland but has called on it to go further to address serious animal welfare issues.. The Werritty report called for a five-year probation period before making a decision like this. “The Grouse Moor Management report estimated that there are just 120 grouse estates left in Scotland. This is a very serious issue for grouse moors, because much of that land is high in peat, and peaty soils contain a massive amount of carbon. Scottish Government response to the report from the Grouse Moor Management Group November 2020 Background. Part 1: Socio-economic impacts of driven grouse moors in Scotland (Thomson et al., 2018). Scotland’s gamekeepers are calling for surplus mountain hares from grouse moors to be transferred to other parts of the country to reverse the hares’ unfavourable conservation status. Huge areas of northern England … It was almost certainly a maximum figure at that time and there have been further reductions in the last five years. Its spokeswoman said it would "ensure that driven grouse shooting is managed in a way that delivers better outcomes for our climate and for biodiversity". For over 150 years, moorland in Scotland has been managed for red grouse-shooting. These losses are alarming. Scottish Parliament legislators should not be naive in thinking otherwise.". The victims of Scotland’s driven grouse moors. Changes in land use and economic viability has reduced this figure, and is estimated to now be no more than 10% of Scotland used for both driven and walked up shooting. Grouse Moors are high in peat. Scottish gamekeepers say grouse moors could hold the key to saving the country’s native mountain hare. That would be to give landowners a chance to prove they had got their house in order. A new technique has been developed to cross reference historic muirburn maps with butt lines identified on OS Maps. As Rottal Estate in the Angus Glens hosted the first party to go out on the Glorious Twelfth, rural communities backed the pursuit as vital to their long-term sustainability. He said it was "outrageous that up to a fifth of Scotland's land is kept barren for a blood sport which causes enormous damage, kills other species and burns valuable peatland". She travelled north into Scotland, with her last known position on a grouse moor a few miles north west of Grantown on Spey in Inverness-shire, on 16 th August. During a shoot, the wild grouse are driven - … New scientific techniques will enable a more accurate assessment of the area of driven grouse moors but the overall area remains difficult to quantify. The end of the grouse-shooting season yesterday was overshadowed by the Scottish government announcement that it is to introduce licensing of driven grouse moors. Anne McCall, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “ While we commend the work of both the current Government at Holyrood and that of its predecessors in trying to tackle the illegal killing of raptors on grouse moors, 21 years of piecemeal changes to wildlife protection laws so far have unfortunately not been enough to halt this practice. Read about our approach to external linking. GROUSE MOOR managers have been warned to prepare for 'big changes' following the Werrity review into grouse moor management. It was ordered after a report by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) - now called Nature Scot - concluded that a third of satellite-tagged golden eagles had disappeared suspiciously. But we actually have four grouse species, all living in their own little niche from the top of the highest Munro right down to the shelter of mature pine forests. The area of Scotland used for grouse shooting has been alleged to be “almost a fifth of Scotland’s land” but this is based on out-dated figures. Grouse Moors are high in peat. The report estimated that there are just 120 grouse estates left in Scotland. Red grouse live on heather moorland all across Scotland in widely varying numbers and are shot from time to time in different ways – driven or walked up with or without pointers. A joint statement from rural organisations involved in grouse shooting said they were "dismayed" by the announcement, saying it would be "a seriously damaging blow to fragile rural communities". Environment spokeswoman Claudia Beamish said: "The persecution of wildlife and the illegal shooting of raptors to preserve only grouse for sport must stop and will require additional resourcing for proper enforcement.". Scottish ministers are due to set out their plans for licensing grouse moors later this year following recommendations from independent review overseen by Prof Alan Werritty, in … For over 150 years, moorland in Scotland has been managed for red grouse-shooting. Review says estates should be given ultimatum over raptor persecution, 'My new life with a stranger's face' Video, 'Why I quit my job after my home burned down' Video, 'Why I quit my job after my home burned down', The adventures of Elon Musk, world's richest person. Its remit was also to look at grouse moor management more broadly after concerns were raised by conservationists about muirburn - where heather moorland is burnt to provide optimum habitats for game birds - and the culling of mountain hares. Grouse moors, it can be said, are a metaphor for land reform in Scotland – very few people using land very badly for very little benefit to society. © 2021 Gift of the Grouse - All Rights Reserved. Shortly after completing a review of the Werritty report, the Scottish Government are proposing bringing forward licencing of grouse moors in Scotland. There are also environmental impacts within the circle of destruction that surrounds Scotland's grouse moors. Scotland’s gamekeepers are calling for surplus mountain hares from grouse moors to be translocated to other parts of the country to reverse the hares’ unfavourable conservation status. The problem with the Scottish Government’s response to the Werritty Review , which I blogged about almost a year ago , is that fails to tackle the central issue, the intensification of moorland management in order to produce more grouse for shooting. .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Licensing is to be introduced for Scottish shooting estates in a bid to make them more accountable for practices such as raptor persecution. A preference for grouse moors was also apparent among Merlins in Wales (Bibby 1986). The Scottish Government has announced that it will introduce licensing of grouse moors, during a statement of its response to a commissioned review of grouse moor management. Many grouse moors have been replaced by farming or forestry – to the detriment of many ground-nesting species. In a move long-feared by the game sector – and enthusiastically touted by conservationists – grouse moors will now need to comply with strict rules or risk having their licence to operate removed. However, it only covers driven moors – it will not be able to estimate the larger area of Scotland on which there is some walked up shooting. The splendour of Scotland’s renowned purple heather is the home of the red grouse – and this is where it gives in so many different ways. The socio-economic impacts of driven grouse moors in Scotland, focusing on estate employment, wages, capital assets, etc. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. “Scotland’s grouse moors are barren landscapes devoid of the majority of naturally occurring flora and fauna, surrounded by a circle of destruction intended to wipe out anything which pose a threat to red grouse.” The Scottish Greens, however, accused ministers of dodging their wildlife responsibilities by allowing grouse moor managers to help decide how they should be regulated. For example, around Muirkirk & North Lowther in south-west Scotland, golden plover numbers dropped by 84%, lapwing by 88% and curlew by 61%. It is time for the Scottish Government to reform the intensive management of Scotland’s grouse moors and put an end to … The case for radically reforming grouse moors and land reform in Scotland is very interlinked. In 2013 the Scottish Moorland Group gave a ball park figure for the area of moorland used for any form of grouse management or shooting, to demonstrate its relative importance as a type of land use in Scotland. The Scottish Government has announced that it will introduce licensing of grouse moors, during a statement of its response to a commissioned review of grouse moor management.. That report, conducted by a team led by Professor Werritty, recommended the licensing of grouse moors after a five year delay, if substantial change did not occur in that time. Elsewhere in Scotland, many grouse moors have been afforested or rewilded, losing the whole suite of moorland birds, and with the recent increase in Government tree planting targets this process is gathering pace again. During this period, Scotland’s upland landscapes were transformed by the construction of access infrastructure, burning of heather moorland and the extermination of species such as white-tailed eagle, goshawk and red kites through poisoning, … Even today, protected birds of prey continue to be persecuted on some driven grouse moors to such an extent it is causing population-level effects on iconic species such as golden eagles, hen harriers, red kites and … This is a very serious issue for grouse moors, because much of that land is high in peat, and peaty soils contain a massive amount of carbon. To encourage higher grouse numbers by providing them with optimum conditions enormous areas of Scotland are set on fire each year. It said: "We are dismayed that the Scottish government has not listened to the voice of some of our most fragile communities which are at the heart of a world class rural business sector.". There is a circle of environmental, social and wildlife destruction that surrounds Scottish grouse moors. The area of driven grouse moor is considerably smaller than this. “Those who claim that licensing is an obvious way to end the illegal killing of raptors have led … A licensing scheme for grouse moor shooting will be introduced in Scotland as part of efforts to stop the illegal killing of birds of prey, rural affairs minister Mairi Gougeon has announced. As part of the Government Review of grouse management, research by the James Hutton Institute and SRUC includes deciphering the area of driven grouse moor. Grouse moors, it can be said, are a metaphor for land reform in Scotland – very few people using land very badly for very little benefit to society. © 2021 BBC. Scotland's grouse moors contribute millions of pounds to fragile rural areas, according to an official review examining claims that alternative uses for the land would be more profitable. Nicki Minaj pays Tracy Chapman $450,000 after copyright case, Covid: Women on exercise trip 'surrounded by police'. It said self-regulation of grouse moors would not be enough to end the illegal persecution of raptors. In fact, there is nearly 25 time as much carbon locked up in Scotland’s peaty soils as there is all the trees and plants in the UK. Only this will act as a genuine deterrent to this still-widespread criminal activity," the charity added. Grouse shooting in Scotland is to be brought under the control of a Government-granted licence. .css-orcmk8-HeadlineContainer{display:-webkit-box;display:-webkit-flex;display:-ms-flexbox;display:flex;-webkit-box-pack:justify;-webkit-justify-content:space-between;-ms-flex-pack:justify;justify-content:space-between;}Twitter permanently suspends Trump's account.css-1dedj2h-Rank{-webkit-align-self:center;-ms-flex-item-align:center;align-self:center;color:#B80000;margin-left:3.125rem;}1, Trump riots: Democrats plan to introduce article of impeachment2, Capitol riots: The hunt to identify and arrest Capitol rioters3, Trump riots: FBI to investigate death of policeman Brian Sicknick4, Capitol riots: Panel of Americans ‘shocked’ and ‘disgusted’5, Covid-19: UK sees highest daily toll of 1,325 deaths6, Bosnia: Icy struggle for many migrants stuck in freezing tents7, Trump riots: Could the president be removed from power?8, Nicki Minaj pays Tracy Chapman $450,000 after copyright case9, Covid: Women on exercise trip 'surrounded by police'10. Grouse moor management and shooting vary over time too. The area of Scotland used for grouse shooting has been alleged to be “almost a fifth of Scotland’s land” but this is based on out-dated figures. It said they were not reassured by the Scottish government claims moor managers had "nothing to fear". It proposed a five-year probationary period to show a "marked improvement in the ecological sustainability of grouse moor management". Trump riots: Could the president be removed from power? Greener planes of the future... or just pretty plans? What happens to your body in extreme heat? Mr Hogg said grouse shooting was an important element of Scottish rural life and gamekeepers should get more recognition for the many benefits they deliver. In fact, for all the land grouse moors use up, they only contribute 0.02% to our overall economy. Grouse Shooting Estates, Scotland The estates are some of the leading and most reliable grouse moors in Scotland. The social media giant says the US president "due to the risk of further incitement of violence". 2002, Murgatroyd et al. The driven grouse industry aims to maintain artificially high densities of red grouse to be shot for ‘sport’. Recently established, REVIVE is a coalition of like minded organisations working for grouse moor reform in Scotland. There is no recognition in the Scottish Government’s response to Werritty that additional controls over grouse moor management might be justified in our National Parks, particularly in the Cairngorms. As Scotland emerges from Covid-19, licensing of grouse moors should play a positive role in a much-needed green recovery. 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