Prepare for launch of grouse moor licensing portal, BASC Scotland tells members

grouse licensing

BASC Scotland is urging members in the country to apply for a grouse moor licence as soon as a dedicated portal opens later this month.

NatureScot has stated that applications will provisionally open on 15 July – less than a month before the start of the grouse season – and BASC is urging members who need to apply to be ready.

BASC Scotland director Peter Clark said the association was instrumental in ensuring the licence duration was extended to five years as the Wildlife Management and Muirburn Bill (now Act) made its way through the Scottish Parliament.

However he warned that uncertainty remained over the 15 July portal launch date and that businesses were “rightly concerned that NatureScot is running down the clock”.

He said: “Our members are concerned that until now there has been no online system for licence applications and despite NatureScot stating the system will be working and delivering licences in advance of 12 August, there remain concerns about processing applications.

“BASC therefore seeks robust assurance from NatureScot that all those wishing to shoot grouse in 2024 will be fully licensed by 12 August 2024.

“The grouse shooting sector in Scotland must not be placed in such a challenging situation so close to its most important date, given the risk to jobs, livelihoods and the rural economy.”

The statutory code of practice for grouse moor management, which BASC has been involved in drafting and which all licence holders must follow, is set to be published on 12 July. The code will outline the legal obligations associated with moorland management for grouse shooting.

For more news from BASC Scotland, head to our dedicated pages here.