Grouse moor management requires clear understanding of the ecosystem: our letter to The Guardian

It is unfortunate that George Monbiot omitted the scientific papers explaining that grouse moor management preserves and enhances these globally important heather-dominated habitats (Britain’s national parks are a farce: they’re being run for a tiny minority, 28 February); conservation work funded by shoots managing moors for heather, harriers and other wildlife.

Sustaining this management requires a clear understanding of how the ecosystem responds. So we should clarify that the Langholm Moor Demonstration study has indicated that grouse numbers will not increase, from low levels to the levels required to run a shoot, while there is a high predation pressure, much of it caused by birds of prey. It seems likely that there will be a different response when maintaining higher numbers of grouse alongside birds of prey in favourable conservation status.

This latter issue is being addressed by Defra’s hen harrier recovery plan which seeks to increase the numbers of these ground nesting birds alongside the shoots which provide their habitat, food and protection from foxes.

Andrew Gilruth
Director of Communications
Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust

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grouse moors /hen harriers

at 17:24 on 06/03/2018 by fergus murray

Along with the views of George Monbiot, perhaps the views of Mark Avery should also be considered. He is anti the relocation of hen harrier broods..............perhaps he is prescient on this..What are the prospects for these fledglings when released on moors where the higher level raptors have been nurtured and don't take kindly to these lower status raotors ? Could this be why they have such poor success on RSPB located ground !

George Monbiot, Grouse & scientific papers

at 15:16 on 06/03/2018 by Simon Mansell

Monbiot rather feels "people" get in the way of his eco world! Like many in the Green movement he advocates economic decline and recession as a solution. Still, the election of Corbyn would help in this respect? "Monbi Mania" attacks sheep farming as: "a slow-burning ecological disaster, which has done more damage to the living systems of this country than either climate change or industrial pollution." GWCT's submission would be better made to Farmer Weekly than the left wing Guardian, the home of "Monbi Mania". Lobby sheep farmers & the wool industry! If grouse moors have concerns, They are nothing compared to the devastation to the economy and the end of hill farmers who are first on his eco hit list! The loss of sheep may even help promote grouse moors!

Grouse moor Management

at 13:11 on 06/03/2018 by W B WHITCHER

Not only is it unfortunate that Monbiot and his ilk choose to ignore scientific evidence produced by the world class GWCT , it is also to be expected . It shows the blinkered and single minded objective of these people . Birds of Prey figure above all else in their agenda. It is a disgrace that these birds , many species far from rare , are proliferating to the detriment of more sensitive species . Such a shame that these people who purportedly have an interest in birds don't extend that interest to the rest of the avian world . The contentious issue of Birds if Prey and the management of game birds will go on forever until it is accepted that in some circumstances the former need controlling .

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