25/10/2016

All set for the Westminster Hall grouse debate?

The GWCT has been briefing MPs ahead of the Westminster Hall debate on Monday 31 October. If you are briefing your local MP, do refer to our fact sheet here and our written submission here. All 467 written submissions can be found here.

An Upland Drive TnReviewing the evidence can throw up ironic quotes

“The RSPB and other moorland owners and managers agree about many things – we care deeply about the countryside and are angered by the declines in blackgrouse [sic] and wader populations; we agree that grouse moors have prevented even greater losses of heather to intensive grazing and conifers…”

“Grouse moors undoubtedly provide good habitat for species in addition to grouse. Some birds, particularly breeding waders, do well on grouse moors. The package of management, which includes the killing, legally, of certain predator species, benefits a range of other bird species. On the subject of predators, the RSPB does not oppose legal predator control and recognises that it is necessary if the objective is to produce a shootable surplus of gamebirds.”

Mark Avery, RSPB Director of Conservation, Shooting Times, 22 August 2002 (he no longer works at the RSPB but he did start the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting)

Please do not contact us to suggest the RSPB has now changed its position. It has not. Pat Thompson, RSPB Senior Uplands Policy Officer, highlighted the five benefits of driven grouse shooting this year as: protection of heath and bog from forestry; significant investment in management and restoration of upland heath; legal control of predators benefits some birds; tick control; and local economy here.

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✓ Grouse shooting
✓ Conservation on grouse moors
✓ Heather burning
✓ Moorland drainage
✓ Disease control
✓ Upland predator control
✓ Hen harriers and red grouse
✓ Mountain hares and red grouse
✓ Alternative moorland use
✓ Commonly heard criticisms of driven grouse shooting

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