In advance of the “Glorious Twelfth” the date in August when the red grouse season opens on the managed heather moorland of the UK, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has released an infographic illustrating the benefits of grouse shooting. These include:
• Heather moorland is “rarer than rainforest” with 75% found in Britain
• An estimated £100 million is spent in conservation by grouse moor owners and those who shoot grouse.
• Much of this goes to control damaging diseases and invasive species.
• 79% of the Pennines and North York moors Special Protection Areas are managed for grouse shooting
• Up to five times more threatened wading birds such as curlews are supported on moors managed for grouse shooting
• 90% of English grouse moors are within a National Park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
• Managing the heather essential for red grouse helps preserve and protect the UK’s biggest carbon store in the peat found on grouse moors.
• 70% of the UK’s drinking water comes from the uplands that include managed grouse moors.
• The equivalent of over 2,500 jobs are supported by grouse shooting in England, Wales and Scotland
• 40,000 people take part in grouse shooting every year with average shoot bringing together 40 people.
• The risk of destructive upland wild fires can be reduced by the fire breaks created by controlled burning.
• Grouse are an important source of healthy and delicious food.
Ian Grindy, the Chairman of BASC’s Gameshooting and Gamekeeping Committee said; “Heather moorland managed for grouse brings with it a host of benefits to conservation and wildlife of which we have highlighted twelve. This year’s grouse season has been badly affected by atrocious weather in the Spring and because owners and moor managers are concerned to preserve grouse the number of days on which shooting takes place, for example in England, will be a fraction of the total in 2014. BASC is highlighting the twelve benefits of grouse shooting so that people can make their own minds up when they hear those who, through misguided zeal or prejudice would like to destroy grouse shooting and managed moorland and deprive the uplands of all the benefits these bring.”
For further details of the benefits of moorland management, please see http://bit.ly/1DkixOw